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CORNELL 

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LIBRARY 

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FUND     GIVEN     IN     1891     BY 

HENRY  WILLIAMS  SAGE 

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Cornell  University  Library 
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History  of  Blue  Earth  County  and  biograp 


3  1924  028  912  925 

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HISTORY 


OF 


Blue  Earth  County 


Bv    THOMAS     HUGHES 

LIFE    MEMBER    OF    MINNESOTA    HISTORICAL    SOCIETY 


AND 


BIOGRAPHIES 


OF    ITS 


LEADING  CITIZENS 


Chicago 

Middle  West  Publishing  Company 

Publishers 


h  o 


-i/S 


0  i>    'i"  T'i  A  f^  '? 


The  development  of  the  historical  drama  of  ilinnesota  discloses  Blue  Earth 
county  rising  with  distinct  individuality  from  its  legendary  past  to  splendid  con- 
formity with  the  ideals  and  institutions  of  the  Twentieth  century.  The  unfold- 
ing of  the  potentialities  of  this  rarely  favored  region  has  been  marked  by  as  ter- 
rible and  vivid  experiences  as  ever  accompanied  the  substitution  of  a  superior  for 
an  undeveloped  race^  and  few  communities  grown  from  the  travail  of  the  border 
have  more  dearly  purchased  the  right  to  prosperity  and  peace. 

"Whatever  concerns  mankind  is  of  interest  to  me/'  is  a  slogan  by  no  means 
I'cstricted  to  the  editorial  sanctum,  but  largely  is  it  the  impelling  impulse  to 
historical  composition.  Facts  alone  do  not  comprise  history,  any  more,  than 
bricks  represent  the  fulfilled  dream  of  the  master  arcliitect.  Thus  the  ruling 
motives  have  been,  first,  the  hope  of  attaining  a  high  standard  of  historical  ac- 
curacy, and  secondly,  the  desire  to  retain,  as  far  as  possible,  vital  human  interest. 
It  is  realized  that  impartiality  and  catholicity  of  spirit  are  of  paramount  im- 
portance, and  that  freedom  from  prejudice  is  the  best  preventative  against  a 
reversal  by  posterity  of  the  Judgment  of  our  time.  These  precautions,  rigidly  ob- 
served, assured  the  utterances  of  Diodorus,  the  first  Eoman  historian,  permanent 
authority  and  remembrance. 

Men  of  action,  character,  and  profound  purpose  have  carved  the  contour  of 
this  narrative.  What  our  eyes  behold  is  a  dramatization  of  their  characters,  their 
souls  flung  forth  in  form  and  color.  Of  those  whose  courage  and  sacrifice  awoke 
tlie  dormant  wilderness,  whose  crude  interests  comprise  the  cabin  age,  whose 
plows  broke  the  primeval  soil,  whose  firearms  disturbed  the  awful  silences, — 
we  speak  with  reverance  and  gratitude.  If  we  have  aught  of  prejudice  or  favor, 
it  reaches  to  the  rugged  sons  of  toil  whose  unerring,  prophetic  vision  led  them  to 
the  unhindered  distances  of  Blue  Earth  county. 

Interestedly,  and  with  due  appreciation  of  the  suffering,  which  he  both  en- 
dured and  inflicted,  of  the  inevitable  appeal  to  all  that  was  baneful  and  venge- 


PREFACE 

ful  in  his  nature  when  driven  from  lands  occupied  for  centuries  by  his  dusky 
sires,  we  toucli  in  memory  the  blanket  garb  of  the  fast  disappe.uing  Eedman,  we 
vizualize  his  wig"wam,  his  dances,  his  trails  and  traditions,  and  share  with  you 
the  whimsically  pathetic  legends  of  a  picturesque  and  nature  worshipping  people, 
dethroned  from  supremacy  by  the  sweep  of  progress,  and  left  in  out  of  the  way 
]")laces  to  moralize  upon  the  mournful  fate  of  nomadic,  non-agricultural  and 
non-productive  peoples. 

The  story  of  tlie  rise  and  fall  of  nations  as  ol  localities  teaches  that  human 
nature  everywhere  at  foundation  is  much  the  same;  that  no  race,  no  nation,  no 
individual  even  is  ideally  good  or  totally  bad;  that  the  Past  always  has  been  a 
Golden  Age  to  the  pessimist,  the  Future  always  Utopian  for  the  dreamer,  and 
that  broad  optimism  regarding  the  Present — a  belief  that  on  the  whole  conditions 
are  about  as  good  as  the  time  pennits — is  unquestionably  tl.e  safest  philosophy. 
i\ssurance  seems  justified  that  the  lessons  of  this  history  will  be  felt  by  its  readers, 
and  we  greatly  mistake  tlie  purpose  of  our  story  if  it  does  not  make  for  broader 
views,  greater  tolerance,  truer  humanitarianisiti,  higher  ethics, — personal  and 
communal, — and  for  better  citizenship  in  the  broadest  meaning  of  that  term. 
Said  Scliiller.  the  great  Teuton,  out  of  the  fulnesse  of  profounder  knowledge 
and  larger  experience  than  falls  to  the  lot  of  average  human  kind — "Had  I  be- 
gun earlier  and  spent  thirty  3'ears  in  studying  history,  I  should  be  a  far  different 
find  much  better  man  than  I  now  am." 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTEE  I. 

Blue  Earth   County — Aboriginal   Days 1 

CHAPTEE  II. 

Indian  Lenfends  of  Blue  Earth   County ^ 

CMAPTEE    III. 

French  Exploi-cis — !.<>  Siiciir  and  His  Copper  Di=coverv — Indian  War>        .  .  .    l"i 

CHAPTEE   lY. 

Explorations   ot    Carver,    Long,    Featliei-stnnhaugh    and    (itliers — First    Stinni- 
bcat   Excursions   on   tlic    Minnesota '^'j 

(  HAPTEE  Y. 

First  Settlement  in  Blue  Earth  County .>•! 

CHAPTEE    YI. 

Events  in  Mankato  in  the  Suuiiin'r  of  18.")'2 39 

CHAPTEE    YII. 

Blue  Earth  County   Created— Its   Prior   Political   History 43 

CHAPTEE  YIII. 

Loss  of  Territory — \\'innrliago  Eesorvatinn — Events  of  IS-").") 50 

CHAPTEE   IX. 

Tlie  Jfapleton  and  Welsh   Cnlnnii's — and   Other   .Seltlements  of   l.S-")r; (i!i 

CHAPTEE  X. 

The  Inkpadutah   ]\Iassacre  of  1857 81 

CHAPTEE    XL 

Events  of  1858 — Tlio  Five  Million  Loan  Bill — Division  of  County  into  Town- 
ships         95 

CHAPTEE   XII. 
Events  of  18G0  and  1861— Beginning  of  the  Civil  War  and  First  Enlistments.  103 


CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  XIII. 

The    Great   Sioux   Massacre   of   1802 — The   Mankato   and    South   Bend    Com- 
panies at  New  Ulm Ill 

CHAPTBE  XIV. 

"Mankato  Home  Guards" — Surrender  and  Trial  of  the  Indians — The  Hang- 
ing   at    Mankato 125 

CHAPTEE  XV. 
Legislative  Aid  for  Settlers— Events  of  18G3  and  1864 137 

CHAPTEE  XVI. 
Closing  Events  of  1864 — Murder  of  the  Jewett  Family 147 

CHAPTEE  XVII. 

Events  in  Blue  Earth  C'nunty  After   186-')   Peace  Eeigns,  Wheels  of  Progress 
put   in    Motion — First    Eailway 159 

CHAPTEE  XVIII. 

Events  of  Early  Seventies — "Winona  and  Wells  Eailways  Eeach  Mankato    ....  1C9 

CHAPTEE  XIX. 

TJie   Grasshoppers— Events   of    1876-7— The   Winter    of    1881-2    and   the    Big 
Flood     183 

CHAPTEE  XX. 

History    of    Minnesota    A^alley — Events    of    1884-G — Building    of    the    Court 
House    ; 193 

CHAPTEE  XXL 

Cannon    Valley    Eailway — The    Alliance    Movement — Government    Building 
at   Mankato    205 

CHAPTBE  XXII. 
Events  of  1893  to  1898— Chinch  Bugs  and  Drouth— The  Spanish  War 211 

CHAPTBE  XXIII. 
Mankato's    Golden    Jubilee — Eecent   Events — The    Conclusion 219 

CHAPTEE  XXIV. 
TOWNSHIP  HISTOEIES— 

Beauf brd   Township    234 

Butternut   Valley    Township 226 

Cambria    Township     328 

Cereeco  Township    233 

Danville   Township    235 


CONTENTS 

Decoria    Township    240 

Garden    City    Township 347 

Jamestown  Township    -43 

Judson  Township    353 

Le   Eay    Township 355 

Lime    Township    359 

Lincoln  Township   260 

Lyra   Township    201 

Mankato  Township    265 

Mapleton   Township    371 

McPherson    Township    374 

Medo    Township    '. .  . .  :277 

Pleasant   Mound  Township 279 

Rapidan  Township    281 

Shelby   Township    284 

South    Bend    Township 291 

Sterling  Township    294 

Vernon    Center   Township 398 

Legislative    Members    302 

District  Judges    303 

County    Oaicers    303 

Population  of  Blue  Earth  C'nunty  for  Ten  Census  Years 306 

Public    Charity    306 

Bridges    of   Blue    Earth    County 307 

School    Statistics     308 

Biographies     311 


IN  DEX 


ALLIANCE    (Farmers)— 190,    191,    106,    207. 

AMBER   CANE— 98,   148,    187. 

AMBOY— Founding  of,  187,  287— First  Newspaper,  195,  289— School  House,  19.5,  212,  290— 
Farmers  Co-operative  \^'areliouse,  190 — rre>byterian  Church,  212,  2SS — ifethodist 
Church,  216,  288 — German  ."\Iethodist  and  Evangelical  Churches,  289 — Depot  and  Mill 
Burned,  212— New  Mill  of  Peterson  &  Fuller,  212,  290— Hail  Insurance  Co.,  213— 
Banks,  216,  290— Amboy  Herald,  217,  289— Water  Works,  218,  290— Other  Events,  193, 
196,  206. 

APPLES— 98,   108,  215. 

ATTORNEYS,  County— 48,  99,   100.     List  of  305. 

AUDITORS,   COUNTY— List   of   304. 

BABCOCK   MILL   PRECINCT— 48. 

BANDS— 186,    196,    205,    208. 

BANTfS- 165,   174,   196,  220,  222. 

BEAUFORD— Called  "Winneshiek"  97,  224— Organized  and  Named,  160,  224— Postoflfices  in, 
165,   193,   224,   225— History  of,   224,   226. 

BEEKEEPERS    ASSOCIATION— 174. 

BELLEVIEW    POSTOFFICE— 178. 

BENCH  AND  BAR— 95,  102,   105,   171. 

BENNETT   AND  BURGESS   FAMILIES— 78. 

BOARD  OF   TRADE— 165. 

BONDS— 97. 

BOOKS— By  Blue   Earth   County   Authors— 212,  217,   221. 

BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY— Created  and  Prior  History  and  Limits,  4.3— Organization  and 
First  Officers,  48 — Boundaries  Curtailed,  ."in  —First  County  Offices,  60 — Various  Settle- 
ments of  in  ],S55  05 — Receivers  Lime  and  Jamestown,  77 — I'irst  County  Building,  95 — 
Liquor  Licenses  First  Granted,  O."!-  Divided  into  Towns,  96 — First  Issue  of  Bonds,  97 — 
First  Board  of  County  Supervisors,  98 — Early  Assessed  Valuation,  99 — Villages  of  in 
1859,  101 — County  Commissioners  Af;ain,  10.3 — Question  of  Removing  County  Scat, 
100— Productions,  142,  1(14,  167,  178,  ISO— As  Seen  in  1867,  162— Court  House  and 
Jail,  1C3— Poor  Farm  Bought,  164— Bridge  over  Blue  Eartli  at  Mankato,  169— First 
Becomes  Solvent.  172 — ^The  Nationalities  of,  170— Eiirthquake,  186 — Map  of,  188 — 
Briek  House  on  Poor  Farm,  193 — New  Court  House,  197 — New  Jail,  212 — Territorial 
Society,    214 — Drj'    Years,    217. 

BLUE   EARTH   CLAIM  ASSOCIATION— 36. 

BLUE   EARTH  RIVER— Location   and   Name,  2. 

BRIDGES— 66,  90,   169,  220.  307. 

BUILDINGS,  COI'NTY— 77,  163,  197. 

BUILDING    ASSOCIATION— 190, 

BURNS    CLUC-Orpnnized— Meetings    of,    173,   185,   206.   211,   212. 

BUTTERNUT  VALLEY— Precinct  of,  79.  230— Organized  and  Named,  96,  162,  230— 
Cambria    severed   from,    163— Postoffice,    212,    231— History    of,   226-228. 

CAMBRIA   (Creek)— 3. 

CAMBRIA  (Town)— First  Settlers,  62— Horeb  Church,  74— Mill,  92— Indian  Raids  into, 
119— Organized  and  Named,  163— Station,  216— History  of,  228,  233. 


INDEX 

CANDY  FACTORY— :>11,  213,  215,  210. 

CARVER,   JUXATHAX— 2o. 

LATEURILLAES— 185,  200. 

CEMENT,  STANDARD— 104,  217,  221,  203. 

CEXSUS— 104,  213,  306. 

CERESCO— Precinct   of,  91— Organized  and  Named,  Olj,   104,  233— Storm  in,   189— Postoffice,- 

205,    234— Cliee-e    Factory,    218— History    of,   233,    235. 
CHARITY.   PUBLIC— 30(i. 
(HINfH    BCi;'^— 200,    212,    215. 
CI-HJRCITES,    (Mankato)— 52.  62,  63,   161,   164,   173,   190,   105,  214,  217,   220-2— Danville,   196— 

(Smith's    Mill),    212— (Aniboy),    210— (Lake    Crystal),    212,    21(i— (Mapleton),    219— See, 

aKi),    Town    Histories. 
Cn'IL  UAR— Ft.  Ridgely  Troops,  100— First  Enlistments,  106,   107,  108— Aid  Society,   100— 

Recruits    of    '02,    109— Ordered    Sonlh,     142— Last    Recruits,     145,     148— Quota    of    Each 

Town,    15!) — Rosters   of   Soldiers    (see   Township   Histories). 
CLIFTdN    HO.USJi:- 104. 
COBB,   BIG— 3. 
COBB,   LITTLE— 3. 
COLORADO   BEETLE— 105. 
COJL\IERCIAi>    SCHOOLS— 200,    208,    221. 

COilJJlSSlONEltS,   COVNTY- First,   48,   51,    103— List   of,   303. 
CORONERS— List  of,  305. 

COCRT— 48,    !I5,    102,    107,    180,    206,    208,    214. 
COURT,  DISTRICT— List  of  Judges,  303— List  of  Clerks,  304. 
COURT   HOUSE    (County)— 107— (U.   S.),   209. 
CRYSTAL  LAKi:- 50,  98. 
CRYSTAL  LAKE   CITV— 91,   138. 

DAIRY— 174.    1,00.    1114,    195— Creameries,    193,   207,    208,    215,    216. 
DANVILLE— First    Settlers,   75— Called    Jackson,   96— Changed   to   Danville,   98— Churches   in, 

106— Cieamery   and   Store,   214— History   of,   235-240— Haunted   Wind   Mill,  230. 
DECORIA— Named,   07.  2-!0— Organized,   164— Postoffice,    105— Hall,   211— History   of,  240-243. 
DIPHTHERIA   AND   SMALL   POX— 186. 
UOTY,   GOV.   JAMES    D.— 30. 
DRAIN  TILE— 104. 
EAGLE  LAICE    (Village)— 172,    173,   178,    181,    180. 

EAGLE   LAKE    (Lake)^ 207,   208,   214,   217,   250,   257-25S. 

EARTHQUAKE— 186. 

ELECTION- 48,  58,  67,  76,  92,   102,   141. 

ELECTRIC  LIGHT— 205,  100,  100,  174,  180,  212. 

EUR]':KA— 50. 

EVANS,  D.  C.  AND  LYMAN  MATTHEWS— 40,  50. 

lA'ICTION,    FLRST— 41, 

FAIR,    COUNTY— 101,    105,    160— Blue    Earth    Valley,    189,    195— Southern    Minnesota,    206, 

221— Street   Fairs,  216— Other,    196. 
FARMERS  INSniANCE  COMPANIES— 190,  200,  214. 
FARilERa  INSTITUTES— 195,   107,  207. 
FARM   ilACHINERY— 178. 
FEATHERSTONHAUGH'S    EXPEDITION— 28. 
FIVE  JIILLION  LOAN  BILL— 95,   186. 
FIRE  COMPANA'— 104,  210. 
FIRE,   PRAIRIE— 66,    188— Incendiary— 214,   215. 


INDEX 

FLOODS— 108,    160,    178,    183,    190. 

FORT  KIDGELY— 45. 

FOURTH  OF  JULY  CELEBRATIONS— 100,  104,  109,  141,  171,  180,  185,  195,  205,  208. 

FREMONT   TOWNSITE— 75. 

FREMONT,  GENERAL  J.  C— Explores  Coujity,  30, 

FRENCH   TRADERS— 27. 

FURS— 103,   107. 

(lAliDEN   CITY    (Town)— First    Settlers,   55,   65,   247— Called   Watonwan,   60,   m',    143,   246— 

History  of,  246-250. 
GARDEN  CITY   (Village)— St.irted  and  Called  Fremont,  75,  247— lirowth  of,  76,  91,  99,   101, 

101,  162,  180,  190,  214,  215,  217— Incorporated,  218— Sec  History  Garden   City,  247-249. 
GERMANS- Accident    to   First    Comers,   37— Colony    From    :\Io..    .'>()— Early    Settlers,    40,    62, 

78,   179,  225,  233,  238,   242,   259,  280,  283. 
(iERilAN   CATHOLIC   BENEFIT    SOCIETY— 190. 
GERMAN   CATHOLIC    CHI'UCII- History   of,   217. 
(aXSENG- 107. 

GOOD  THUNDER- 172,    ISO,  208,   211,  212,   2lS,  221.   203-26.J. 
GRAHAM  AND  LAIDLOWS   EXPEDITION— 20. 
GRANGE— (See   Patrons   of   Husbandry.) 
GRASSHOPPERS— 92,   148,    160,   178,   180. 
HARMONIA— 175. 
HAUNTED  VALLEY— 7. 
HAINTED  \VINDMnj:.— 239. 
BILTON— 162,    196,   275. 

HISTORY   OF   MINTSTESOTA   VALLEY— 193. 
HOG    CHOLERA-187. 
HONK  HONKA— Stoi-y    of,   274. 
HOP  CULTURE— 163,  172. 
HOSPITALS— 206,  214,  210,  221. 

INDIANS — Habits   and    Customs,    5,    104 — Legends    of,    7 — Skeletons    of,    17 — Sioux    Reserva- 
tion,   45— First    Troubles    \\"ith,    35,    36,   41,    51,    55— A\'innebagoe>,    .19,    63,    04,    69,    142, 

241,    244 — (See    "Inkpadutah    Massacre"    and    "Sioux    iNIas^acre") — Rcdigious    Awakening 

of,    135 — Ordination   of   Joseph   Renville,   154. 
INKPADUTAH  JIASSACRE— Causes,  81— ilurders  at  Okoboji  and  Spirit  Lak.',  82— Jackson, 

83— Mankato   Company,   84^0ther  Incidents,  85-89,   101,    104. 
INSURANCE   COMPANY,   FARMERS— 190. 
IRISH— 179,    245. 
JACKSON,  HENRY— 33. 
JACKSON    (LAIiE)— 217,    294. 
JAMES    AND    YOUNGER    BROTHERS— 185. 
JAJIESTOWN- Loss     of,     59— Regained,     70— First     Settlers,     79,     244— Howes     Mill,     92— 

Created   and  Named,   96,   243— Volkville,    188— Indian    Murder,   244^History    of,   243-24C, 
JE\"\'ETT,  A.  J.— Murder  of,  by  Indians,   149. 
JOHNSON,   P.  K.— 33. 
JUDSON— First   Settlers   of,   56,   61,  253— First   Church   in   68— Old   Village   of,   77,    91,   98, 

162,    253— Organized,     96— Fort     at,     140— Station     of,    216,     255— Bridge,     220— History 

of,   253-255. 
KASOTA— 45. 
LABOR  UNIONS— 196. 
LAKE    CRYSTAL— Founded,    169,    250— Newspapers    of,    193,    206— School    House,    193,    205, 

219-MilIs,   194,  206,  212,  218— Fire  at,   20.5— Other  Events,   194,  206,   212,   216,  218,  219, 


INDEX 

220,  221— History  of,  250-252. 

1.ANDS— Preemption,  53— Survey  of,  57— Payment  Forced,  105— Homestead  Act,  109,  169— 
Winnebago  Lands,  140,  159,  163. 

I.EECH,  SAMUEL— 37. 

LEGENDS— Haunted  Valley,   7— Devoted   Father,   9— Dirge   of   Maiden,    11— No   Soul,   11. 

LEGISLATURE— List  of  Members,  302. 

LE  HTLLIER— Fort  of,   16— Townsite   of,  90,   101,  293. 

LE  RAY — First  Settlers,  78,  250 — Organized  and  Named,  103,  255 — South  Tier  of  Sections 
Added,   143— History   of,   255-258. 

LE  SUEUR,  PIERRE  OtlAS.- Discovers  Copper  on  Blue  Earth,  15— Ft.  LeHuillier,  16— 
Journal  of,   20. 

LE   SUEUR    (River)— 3— Gold  Found   on,  208. 

LlBRAl^r,  PUBLIC— 212,  217. 

LIME— Loss  of,  59— Regained,  70— Named,  96— Organized,  97— History  of,  223,  259. 

LINCOLN— First  Settlers,  65,  260— Part  of  Cereseo,  91— Named,  96,  97,  260— Made  a  Sep- 
arate Town   and  Renamed,   160— Iceland,    164— History   of,   260-261. 

LITERARY  AND  MUSICAL  SOCIETY— 58,  68,  178,  181,  186,  195,  247,  287. 

LITTLE   COTTONWOOD   RIVER— 3. 

LIQUOR  AND  INDIANS— 41,  68. 

LIQUOR  LICENSE— 95,  213. 

LONG,  STEPHEN  H.— Expedition  of,  27. 

LOON   (Lake)— 147— P.  0.,  164. 

LOWELL,  NEW— 160. 

LURA   (Lake)— 294. 

LYNCHING— Of  John  Campbell,  151— Of  Campbell  and  Liscom,  161. 

LYRA— First  Settlers,  57,  161,  261,  262— Called  Tecumseh,  97,  262— Organized  and  Re- 
named, 160,  262— Other  Events  in,  162,  217,  221— History  of,  261-265. 

MACK,  C.  C— Murder  of  by  Indians,  144. 

MePHERSON— First  Settlers,  57,  274^CaUed  Rice  Lake,  67,  97,  274,  Organized  and 
Called  McClellan,  141,  275— Name  Changed,  148— History  of,  274-277  (See  "Winnebago 
Agency"  and  "St.  Clair.") 

MADISON,   (Lake)— 243,  193. 

MADISON  LAICE   (Village)— 195,  196,  207,  208,  211,  212,  213,  214,  218,  245,  246. 

MAIL— (Routes),  51,  57,  70,  79,  80,  90,  99,  105,  109,  160,  170— Free  Delivery  in  Mankato,205 
—Rural  Free  Delivery,  217,  218,  220,  221. 

MANKATO  (City)— Founding  of,  33— Name,  36,  2— Early  Events  of,  37,  38,  39,  44,  45,  46, 
47,  51,  49,  54,  58,  62,  63,  67,  68,  69,  77,  90— First  Newspaper  in,  90— First  Attempt 
at  Village  Incorporation,  95,  97 — Early  Lawyers  of,  95 — Village  Charter,  265 — City 
Charter,  164,  265— Other  Early  Events,  96,  99,  111,  143,  161,  159,  160,  162,  .  165,  166, 
171,  127,  173,  174,  178,  179,  180,  186- City  Hall  and  Hubbard  Mill,  186— Bridge,  188— 
Municipal  Court,  191 — Cement  Works,  194 — Wholesale  Grocery,  195 — Street  Railway, 
196,  213— Daily  Paper,  205,  211— Free  Delivery,  205— Saulpaugh,  206— Public  Library,  212, 
217— Other  Events  of  the  Eighties  and.  Nineties,  190,  191,  J94,  195,  196,  205,  206,  207, 
208,  209,  211,  212,  213,  214,  215,  216,  217,  218,  219— Golden  Jubilee,  219— Later  Events, 
220,  221,  222— Lists  of  Mayors,  Postmasters,  School  Buildings,  School  Superintend- 
ents   and   Normal    School    Presidents,    265— History    of,    265-271. 

MANIiATO  CITY— 44,  45.   . 

jMANKATO    (Township)— Election   Precinct,   48— Organized,   90,    143. 

MANKATO  HOUSE— 41,  03,  190,  207. 

MAP    OF    COUNTY— 188. 

MAPLETON    (Township)— 73,   75,    103— History   of,   271-274. 


INDEX 

MAPLETON    (Old  Townsite)— 73,   92,    138,   lie',   223,   271. 

jUAPLETON    (JJLONY— 70,    71. 

JIAPLETON  (Village)— Founded,  172,  272— Incorporated,  180— The  Enterprise,  195,  206— 
Waterworks,  200— Fire,  213— Hill,  219— Other  Events,  181,  188,  193,  194,  197,  214, 
220— History  of,  272  and  273. 

MARRIAGES,  FHIST   IN   COUNTY— 40. 

MEDICAL   SOCIETY— Organized,   148. 

ilEDO— Named,  97,  141,  277— First  Settlers  and  Organization,  141,  277— Little  Cobb  P. 
0.,  181— iiedo  P.  0.,  278— Murder  of  Mrs.  Gilbert,  185,  278— Hanson's  Store,  190— 
Pemberton,   223,   279— History   of,   277-279. 

MENDOTA  AND   BIG   SIOUX  JIILITARY   ROAD— 47,   62,  "66. 

MIDDLETOWN— 295,  224. 

MILITIA — Mankato  and  Garden  City  Companies,  99,  174 — At  Winnebago  Agency,  101 — 
(See,  also,  "Sioux  Massacre"),  137— Co.  F.,  193,  212— B.md,  196,  205— Co.  H,  215,  218, 
220 — Ro'-ters  of  Citizen  Soldiers  in  Sioux  ilassarre.   113,   123,  123,   137. 

MILLS — Van  Brunt,  54 — Lyons,  54,  291 — Evans  and  Price,  68— Hoxie  &  Conklin,  70 — 
Garden  City,  70— Lay  and  Seward  &  Co.,  90— Butterfield,  91— A'ernon,  92,  159— Shel- 
byville,  92— Howes,  92,  244— D.  P.  Da\is,  92— Middlebiook  Bi-os.,  142 -Bierbauer  & 
Eockey,  142— Eapidan,  147,  211,  210— Hilton,  147— Capwell  &  Co..  l.iO- On  Cobb,  159— 
Burgess,  169— Red  Jacket,  100,  190— llegele  &  Henline,  160— Woolen,  164— Folsoni, 
164 — Woodham  &  Burgess,  173 — Spickernian,  295— Doty,  295 — Champion,  286 — Wool- 
land  jMill,  280— Linseed  Oil,  17-1,  208— S;iw  .Mills  in  the  Seventies,  181— Boegen,  185— 
White  Star,  185- Roller  Process,  189— Jlapleton,  ISO -Cable,  189,  217,  219- Lake 
Crystal,    194,    206,    212— Amboy,    212. 

BULLING   INDUSTRY— 189. 

MINNEOPA— Name,  4— First  Settlers  on  Creek,  03— Townsite,  172— Well,  206,  293— Park, 
221,    293. 

.MINNESOTA  RIVER— Name  and  Origin,  1— First  Steamboats,  31,  37— Name  Changed, 
39— Bridges    on,    188,   220. 

:\IODERN   \\'OODMEN— 213,   216. 

ilONTEVIDEO— 92,   299. 

MORELAND'S  CLAIM— 69. 

MORSE  illNERAL  SPRING- 206,   258. 

NEWSPAPERS- Independent,  90,  100,  104,  134,  141— Union,  141,  l-'iO,  180,  ISO,  188— Free 
Press,  188,  190,  142,  193— Dail>-  Free  Press,  205,  218— Record,  100,  104,  106,  188— Re- 
view, 170— Daily  Review,  211,  217— Garden  City  Ilerahl,  164— People's  Journal,  170— 
Beobachter,  178 — Golden  Prize,  181 — Eagle  Lake  Independent,  186 — ^lapleton  Mes- 
senger, 188 — Censor,  189 — Winnebago  Agency  ^Tcssenger,  190— flarden  City  Messenger, 
190— lake  Crystal  Union,  19.3— Public  Spirit,  ISS,  194-Ainboy  Ne^-s,  195— Enterprise, 
195— Third  District  Messenger,  195— Register,  195,  196— Post,  190,  210,  221— :\nvror, 
200— Mankato  Herald,  206— ilinnesota  Horseman,  207— Good  Thunder  Herald,  208— 
Amboy  Herakl,  208,  217— Journal,  208— Breeze,  208,  213— Morning  News.  213~:iIirror, 
213— Star,  214— Vernon  Center  News,  214— Eagle  Lake  News,  214,  217— Progress,  217— 
Bulletin,   217— Madison  Lake   Tribune,  220,  446. 

NEW   ULM— 67. 

NICOLLET,   JEAN   N.— Explorations   of,   28— Description   of   Blue   Earth,    29. 

NORMAL   SCHOOL— 101,   165,   178,   211,   212,   216,  222. 

NORWEGIANS— 179,   186,   227,   242,   261,  278,  283,  297. 

OLD    SETTLER    SOCIETIES— 165,    171.    205,    212,    214,    216,    218. 

OWEN,   DR.   D.   D.— Survey   of  30. 

PACKING  HOUSE— 209. 


INDEX 

PARKS— 205,   221. 

PAROCHIAL  SCHOOLS~142,   181,  195,  218,  220. 

PATRONS   OF  HUSBANDRY— 177,   180,   185. 

PEilBERTON— 222. 

PENICAUT'S   NARRATIVE— 18. 

PERCH  CREEK— 3. 

PIONEERS— Trials   of,   64. 

PLEASANT  MOUNIJ— Name,  279— Attached  to  Shelby,  79— Fiist  Settlers,  279— Called 
Otsego  and  Willow  Creek,  90,  279— Organized,  100,  280— Storm,  ISS— Fair,  188— P.  0. 
in,   279,   281— Other   Events,    20(1— History    of,    279-281. 

POINT  PLEASANT— 193. 

1-OLITICAL  CA?ilPAIGNS— IS,  70,  92,  99,  102,  lOi;.  105,  148,  160,  104,  169,  174,  188,  195, 
190,  197,  207,  211,  212,  213. 

POOR  FARM— 1(>4,   193— Ovei-ecrs  of,  305. 

POPULIST  PARTY— 213. 

POST  OFFICES— 50,   1C5,   1G9,   172.  178,   ISl,   185,   193,   196— List  of,   164,  205. 

POWELL,  B-EX.  J.  W.— 70. 

PROBATE  JUDGES— List  of,  304. 

RAILROADS— St.  Paul  and  Sioux  City.  91,  143,  LV),  105,  106,  l(i9,  213— Winona  and  St. 
Peter,  109,  172— Mankato  &  Wells,  169,  177,  180,  189— Blue  Earth  Branch,  177,  187, 
287— Mankato,  Austin  &  St.  Cloud,  193— Cannon  Valley,  193,  195,  205,  216,  218— ilil- 
wankee   Extension,   220 — Alphabet,    221. 

RAPIDAN— First  Settlers,  57,  00,  281— Moreland's  Water  Power.  09— Named  De  Soto,  97— 
Townsite  and  Name,  147- Name  Changed,  148,  282— Postoffice,  169,  183,  208— Olson 
Store,  190— Mill,  195,  207,  208,  211,  216— Other  Events,  102,  212,  215,  217,  218— 
History   of,    281-284. 

REGISTER  OF  DEEDS— List  of,  304. 

REFEREE  IN  BANKRUPTCY— 216. 

RICE  LAKE— Precinct   of,   60,  57,   60,   274. 

ROADS— To  the   East,   39,  40— Reno's,   47,   02,   60,    101— Improvements,    101. 

ROOT,  NOBLE  G.— Murder  of  by  Indians,   143. 

liURAL   FREE  DELIVERY- 217,   218.   220,  221. 

SAULPAUGH  HOTEL— 200. 

S(;H001.S,  PUBLIC— 47,  49,  53,  00,  07,  08,  77,  90,  99,  103,  104,  147,  149,  161,  16.3,  106, 
173,    175.    180,    190,   2flS,    209,   212,   215,   308. 

SER:\I(  )N.   FIRST— 40. 

SHELBY— First  Settlers.  01,  70.  28-1 — Precinct,  74— Organized  and  Named  Liberty,  96, 
97— Named    Shelby,  98,   283— Other    Events,    188,   189— History    of,    284    to   291. 

SHELBY   CENTER— 280. 

SHELBYVILLE— 70,    92,    102,    285. 

SHERIFFS— List   of,  304. 

SINTOMNIDUTAH- 51,  81,  87,  88. 

SIOUX  MASSACRE  1862— Beginning  of,  111— Relief  of  New  Ulm,  112,  113— Battle  of 
New  Ulm,  114 — Situation  in  Blue  Earth  County,  114,  115,  116 — New  Ulm  Refugees, 
117,  118 — ;\Irs,  Hanington  and  Lake  Shclec  Refugees,  118 — Soldiers,  118 — Raids  into 
Cambria,  119 — "Butternut  Valley  Guards,"  123 — "Frontier  Rangers"  and  "Mankato 
Home  Guards,"  12.5 — Wood  Lake,  Camp  Release,  Conviction  of  Indians,  126 — Execution, 
127  to  130 — Religious  Revival.  13.5 — Departure  of  Sioux,  Legislative  Relief,  Militia 
Act,  Roster  of  Companies,  137 — "Knights  of  the  Forest"  and  Removal  of  Winnebagoes, 
138 — Military  Expeditions  and  Indian  Raids,  140 — Damage  Claims,  141 — Murder  of 
Mack   and   Root,    143 — ^linute   Men,    145 — Murder    of   Jewett,    149 — Lynching   of    Camp- 


INDEX 

bell,  151 — rursuit  of  Other  Murderers  and  Their  FaCe,  ).34,  158 — Sialp  Bounty  and 
Bloodhounds,  157,  SOU — Military  Defense,  158 — Sentences  of  Condemned  Indians  Re- 
mitted,   161. 

SLEEPY   EYE— 35. 

SMITH'S   iflLL— 160,  104,  212,  258. 

SOLDIERS  AID   SOCIETY— 100. 

SOUTHERN'    .MINNESOTA  UNTIVEKSIT'i"— 90. 

SOUTH  BEND  (Village)— Founding  of,  40— Event,  in,  54,  01,  03,  07,  08,  80,  00,  91,  O.i,  101. 
104,    214,    215,    217,    201. 

SOUTH  BiCND  (Township)— Precinct,  57— First  Settlers,  60— Fir..^t  Events  in,  58,  201,  202— 
Zion  Church,  91— ilade  a  Town  and  Boundary,  0(>,  143— Other  Events,  100-  Hi-^tory  of, 
291    to    20-1    (See,    also,    "Minneopa.") 

SPANISH  WAR— 215, 

STAGE   LINES— 57,    90,    105,    109,    100,    170, 

STEAMBOATS— 31,  37,  38,  39,  40,  45,  47,  49,  53,  54,  79,  90,  97,  100,  103,  108,  109,  141, 
143,    148,   101,   103,    170,   172,    173,   190,   214. 

STERLINTI— First  Settlers,  66,  294— Prairie  Fire,  66— Called  Mapleton,  90— Called  Sterl- 
ing, 103 — Anniversary  Xorwegian  Church,  208,  219,  207 — Congi-egational  Church,  193, 
296— History  of,  294  to  298,  also   195,  223,  224, 

STERLING  CENTER— 211,  223,  224,   295. 

ST.    CI.AIR— Named,    196— Paper,   2)4— Bank,    221— Incorporated,    222, 

STORMS— Wind   and  Hail,   173,    188,   214,  279    -Shoh    and   Blizzard,   50,    174,    KiO,    180, 

STREET   RAILWAY— 196,   213. 

SUMNER,   CAPTAIN    E.   B.— 30. 

SUNDAY    SCHOOLS— 46,    147,    180,    187,    215. 

SUPERINTENDENT  OF  SCHOOLS— List  of,  305. 

SliRVEY,   GOVERNMENT— 57. 

SURVEYORS,   COUNTY— List   of,   305, 

SWEDISH   SETTLERS— 56,    179,   201, 

TCTI ANK  ASK  A    ( Creek ) — 4  5 , 

TEACTIERS,    INSTITUTE— 147,    149, 

TELEGRAPH— 166, 

TELEPHONE— 189,   194,  213,  214,  215,  21(j,  218,  220,  221, 

TEMPERANCE— 186,    189,    190, 

THOJISON,  REV,  JAS.— 52,  53. 

TIVOLI— 78,   97. 

TOWNS— Created  and  Named,  90,  98, 

TREASITRKRS,  COUNTY— 304, 

TREATY    OF   TRAVERSE    DES   SIOUX— 32,    43, 

TURNER   ASSOCIATION— 96,   171. 

UNDINE  REGION— 1,  29,  36. 

VALUATION,   ASSESSED— 68,   77,   99,    142,   178,    180, 

VAN  BRITNT'S   ADDITION  TO  5IANKAT0— 40, 

VERNON— 00,    91,   92,    162,    195,   299, 

VERNON  CENTER- Named,  96,  98,  300— First  Settlers,  00,  298— :\lynia  P,  0,,  178— Edge- 
wood,   187,   195— Newspaper,  214— Other   Events,   216— History   of,   298   to   302. 

\\'ARR1';N'S  addition  to  :MANKAT0— 46,   104. 

^VASHINGTON    (Lake)— 243,   211. 

WAT0N\^'AN    (River  and  Town)— 3,  05.  00,   70,  91,   138,   143,   162,  246,  249. 

\\'ELLS— 180,   206,   207,  293. 

WELSH— 61,  63,  65,  73,  74,   181,  211,  212,  214,  221,  227,  229,  254. 


INDEX 

WHEAT  RAISING— 167. 

WILLOW  CREEK—S,  98. 

WINDMILLS— South  Bend,    160,   291— Shostag,  239. 

WLNNEBAGO    (Indians)— 59,   60,  97,   99,   100,   105,    106,   116,   138,   139,   142,   241. 

WINNEBAGO   AGENCY— 60,   62,    101,    162,    190,    196,   274,   276. 

WINNEBAGO   RESERVATION- 59,   105,   140. 

WINTER- Cold,   68,   70,    105,   108,    160,    163,    170,    174,    183,    190,   214^MiId,   34,    50,   95,    99, 

103,   141,    143,   148,    172,   186,   215. 
WISE,  JOHN  C— 100,  217. 
WITA    (Lake)— 259. 
WOOD  INDUSTRY— 179,  207. 
WOODLAND  SEMENARY— 147. 
Y.   il.   C.  A.— 221. 


E RETT A 


The  letter  "n"  after  the  page  numbers  below  is   used  to  designate  the  first  column  and 
the  letter  "b"  the  second  column  of  each  page.     We  have  noted  quite  a  number  of  minor 
errors,  but  where  the  error  does  not  interfere  with  the  meaning  we  shall  not  attempt  here 
to   make   corrections. 
Piige     25         For    first    head    line    read    "Explorations    of    Carverj    Featherstonhaugh    and 

Others" and    in     second    head    line    instead    of     "Mississippi"    read 

"Minnesota." 
Instead  of  "Mrs.  J.  LuUsdorf,"  read  "Jlr,-,.  G.  Lulsdorff." 
Instead   of   "Western"   read   "Westerner." 
Instead  of  "was  left"  read  "was  let." 
Instead  of  "1885"  in  head  line  of  Chap.  VIII  read  "1855." 
Instead   of  "Blossbury"   read   "Blossburg." 

(Third  line  from  bottom)    add   after  "Shelby,"  "Vernon,   Ceresco." 
Instead   of   "Berlin   house"   read   "Berlin   home." 
Instead   of  "hospital"  read   "hospitable." 

Instead  of  "Watonwan  County"  read  "Watonwan  CDUutry." 
Taj'lor's  store  started  about   18(10  and  Middlebrook  mill  in   1857 
Third   line   from   bottom,  instead   of   "out"   read   "our." 
Head   "The  Indians   on   the   bluff  watching." 
Read  "or  political  preferments"  instead   of   "of." 
(16  lines  from  bottom)   instead  of  "best"  read  "last." 
Add  to  roster  of  soldiers  "William  Morgan,  Co.  F,  Heavy  Art." 
Insert  in  list  of  postmasters  name   of  "Ray  J.   Straw,"  who   served   about  a, 

year — ending  June,   1905. 
Add  to   roster   of   soldiers :      Henry .  Borgmeier,   Co.   B,   Mt.   Rgs.   and   Nathan 
Howland,  Co.  H,  4th  Inf.;   transfer  names  of  Henry  Robertson  to  the 
Jamestown  roster  and  James  Gilfillan  to  Le  Ray. 
Instead    of   "Winneshiek"   read    "Tecumseh." 
Instead  of  "Geo.  Doty"  read  "Hiram  B.  Doty." 
Instead   of  "1886"  read  "1866." 

Instead   of  "Vincent  ^Vessels"  read  "Albert  A.  Wessells." 
Instead   of  ".school  house  in  section  7,"  read   "school  house  in   section   18." 
and  295  b.    Instead   of   "Independence"   read   "Providence"   or   "Jackson   Lake" 
Creek. 


Rage 

41  lu 

rage 

44  b. 

Rage 

51  a. 

rage 

.59. 

Piige 

61  a. 

Rage 

74  b. 

Rage 

75  b. 

Rage 

84  a. 

Page 

S7  a. 

Page 

9-2    a. 

Page 

108  b. 

Page 

121  a. 

Page 

141  b. 

Pa  ge 

158  b. 

Page 

232  b. 

Page 

254  a. 

Page 

259  b. 

Page 

202  a. 

Page 

2(i;j  a. 

Page 

271  b. 

Page 

271  b. 

Page 

271  b. 

Pages 

1  204  b, 

BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY  COURTHOUSE. 


CHAPTER  I. 


BLUE    EAETH    COUNTY— ABORIGHSFAL 
DAYS. 


Conspicuous  upon  the  map  of  the  Northwest 
is  the  great  bend  of  the  ilinnesota,  and  the  fact 
that  the  Blue  Earth  river  here  empties  its  waters 
gives  further  prominence  to  the  spot.  Indeed, 
a  map  of  this  territory  fifty  years  ago  had  but 
little  delineated  upon  it,  save  rivers  and  lakes, 
and,  as  water  then  afforded  the  principal  means 
of  transportation  and  furnished  the  chief  mo- 
tive power  for  manufacture,  it  is  no  wonder  the 
homeseeker  of  the  period  should  have  been  at- 
tracted to  so  favorable  a  locality. 

At  this  remarkable  bend,  in  the  very  heart  of 
Southern  Minnesota  lies  the  County  of  Blue 
Earth.  Its  name  is  derived  from  the  noble 
stream  which  flows  through  its  center,  and 
which,  with  its  many  tributaries  spreads  like  a 
branching  tree  covering  the  whole  county  with 
a  net  work  of  rivers  and  creeks,  so  that  Nicollet, 
the  French  scholar  and  explorer,  designated  it 
the  "Undine  Eegion." 

No  county  in  the  State  has  as  many  rivers  as 
Blue  Earth.  With  two  exceptions  only,  each  of 
its  twenty-three  townships  has  one  or  more  rivers 
or  good  sized  creeks  within  its  borders.  These 
streams  comprise  the  Minnesota,  Blue  Earth, 
Watonwan,  Le  Sueur,  Maple,  Big  C()bb,  Little 
Cobb  and  Little  Cottonwood,  together  with  Min- 
neopa,  Cambria,  Perch  and  Willow  Creeks,  and 
a  great  number  of  smaller  brooks.  Each  of  these 
water  courses,  as  it  meanders  in  its  deep  cut 
valley  far  out  across  the  prairies,  bears  along  its 
bluffs  long  strips  of  fine  timber,  which  afforded 
the  settlers  in  the  early  days  abundant  building 
material,  fencing  and  fuel.  On  the  edges  of 
these  timber  belts  the  log  cabins  of  the  pioneers 
found  shelter  from  the  wintry  blasts. 

All  these  rivers,  especially  the  Blue  Bartli, 
Watonwan  and  the  Le  Sueur,  were  also  well 
adapted  for  the  development  of  water  powers, 
and  their  banks  were  lined  during  the  first  two 
or  three  decades  after  the  advent  of  the  white 
man  with  sawmills  and  grist  mills.     These  num- 


erous water  channels,  also,  drain  the  land,  di- 
versify the  soil,  and  give  the  country  a  most  pic- 
turesque appearance,  thus  ministering  to  both 
the  physical  and  esthetic  needs  of  man. 

The  Minnesota  is  the  largest  stream  in  the 
county  and  for  over  eighteen  miles  forms  its 
northern  boundary  and  for  five  miles  further 
its  western  boundary  after  the  river's  abrupt 
northern  bend  at  Mankato.  It  is  one  of  the 
most  ancient  rivers  of  the  state  and  traces  of 
it?  primeval  bed,  cut  deep  in  the  stratified  rocks 
of  "The  ages  before  man"  are  pointed  out  by 
geolog-ists  at  Mankato  and  elsewhere.  Then 
ctime  the  glacier  period  and  buried  this  portion 
of  our  state — river  and  all — under  from  one- 
hundred  to  one-hundred  and  fifty  feet  of  silt. 
When  the  lofty  mouutains  of  ice  had  retreated 
cur  river  began  excavating  through  the  debris  in 
quest  of  its  ancient  bed.  A  great  inland  sea 
covering  the  Eed  Eiver  Valley  and  extending  far 
into  Canada,  known  to  geologists  as  "Lake  Ag- 
aisiz"  became  its  source.  A  majestic  stream  it 
must  have  been  in  those  days  of  old,  as  it  swept 
on  its  course  half  a  mile  or  more  in  width. 
Y^^^at  we  now  call  the  "second  iench"  was  then 
its  ordinary  bed.  The  bluffs  of  the  Minnesota 
and  the  Mississippi  at  their  union  near  St.  Paul 
match,  forming  one  continuous  valley  of  like 
dimensions,  while  the  channel  of  the  Mississippi 
above,  is  wholly  dissimilar  and  insignificant  by 
comparison,  showing  that  the  main  river  once 
flowed  by  way  of  the  Minnesota.  In  time  Lake 
Agassiz  broke  through  its  northern  barrier  and 
was  drained  into  Hudson  ha}',  and  the  new  river 
then  formed,  we  call  today,  "The  Eed  Eiver  of 
the  North."  Thus  deprived  of  its  main  source, 
the  Minnesota,  as  well  as  that  portion  of  the 
Mississippi,  which  formed  its  continuation  as 
one  great  river,  soon  shrank  to  a  fraction  of  its 
former  size  and  grandeur,  and  we  have  our  mod- 
ern riparian  system. 

"Minnesota,"    is    the    Sioux    or    Dakota    name 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAKTPI  COUNTY. 


of  the  river,  given  it  centuries  ago  by  the 
warlike  aborigines,  who  lived,  hunted  and  fought 
along  its  banks.  It  is  a  compound  word — 
"Minne"  meaning  "water"  and  "sota,"  gen- 
erally translated  "sky  tinted.''  Scholars  dif- 
fer as  to  the  real  meaning  of  "sota."  Eev.  S.  E. 
Eiggs,  the  great  Sioux  missionary  and  author  of 
the  "Dakota  Dictionary"  and  the  explorer  Peath- 
crstonhaugh  say  the  w^ord  means  "clear"  and  cite 
the  word  "Kasota"  as  proof,  which  they  say 
means  "Clearing-"  or  "to  clear  off"  as  where  land 
is  cleared  of  timber  or  brush. 

The  French  explorer  J.  W.  jSTicollet,  a  very 
careful  scholar  gives  'loleared"  as  a  more  literal 
moaning  and  as  his  authority  states  that  the 
I'rench  voyagers,  who  were  as  familiar  with  the 
Dakota  tongue  as  the  Indians  themselves,  so 
rendered  it,  and  that  the  Sioux  word  for  'T)leared 
eye"  was  "Ishta-sota."  Schoolcraft  claims  that 
the  word  means  '"bluish  gray;"  others  declare  it 
to  mean  "whitish,  cloudy  or  turbid."  Eev.  G. 
H.  Pond,  a  noted  Sioux  missionary  and  an  ex- 
cellent authority  on  the  Sioux  language,  main- 
tains that  the  word  is  best  rendered,  "sky  tinted" 
and  that  it  refers  to  that  peculiar  whitish  tint 
of  our  Minnesota  sky.  Dr.  J.  P.  Williamson, 
who  was  the  first  white  boy  born  in  our  Min- 
nesota valley  and  who  has  spent  all  his  life  as  a 
missionary  among  our  Sioux  Indians  and  re- 
cently has  published  an  English  Dakota  Dic- 
tionary in  a  recent  letter  says,  "The  Minnesota 
river  they  (The  Sioux)  called  Wah-Kpa  Minne- 
sota "The  River  of  Sky  tinted  water,"  and  in 
his  dictionary  he  renders  the  word  "clear  sky"  as 
"Kasota."  Evidently  the  name  was  given  to 
the  river  by  the  Indians  because  of  the  minute 
particles  of  whitish  clay  found  suspended  in  its 
waters,  which  therefore  are  not  transparently 
pure  nor  yet  muddy,  but  tinted  like  our  clear 
skies. 

The  Chippeways  who  dwelt  among  the  somber 
pines  of  the  north  called  it  "Askiibogi-sibi" 
(green  leaf  river). 

The  French,  who  were  the  first  white  people 
to  discover  the  river  and  for  nearly  two  centuries 
used  it  in  their  commerce  with  the  natives, 
named  it  the  St.  Pierre,  some  think  after  Le 
Gardour  De  St.  Pierre,  one  of  their  military 
officers   and   explorers,  but  others   claim  it  was 


after  Le  Sueur,  whose  christian  name  was 
"Pierre."  This  name  Anglicized  as,  "8t.  Peters," 
was  continued  by  us  until  1854.  In  1853  the 
Legislature  of  Minnesota  at  the  instigation  of 
Martin  McLeod,  then  a  member,  sent  a  mem- 
orial to  Congress  praying  that  the  ancient  name 
of  the  river  be  restored  to  it.  Moved  by  this 
ipquest  and  the  personal  solicitation  of  General 
Siljley,  then  our  delegate  in  Congress,  the  Com- 
mittee on  Territories  through  its  chairman, 
Stephen  A.  Douglas,  recommended  the  change, 
and  on  May,  1854,  the  river  was  rechristened, 
the  "Minnesota."  As  to  the  important  part  this 
ancient  river  played  in  the  discovery  and  devel- 
opment of  our  county  will  appear  elsewhere  in 
this   history. 

The  river  next  in  importance  as  to  size  and 
value  in  the  history  of  the  County  is  the  Blue 
Earth.  Since  steam  has  usurped  the  place  for-' 
merly  held  by  water  in  the  transportation  and 
manufacturing  industries  of  our  land,  both  rivers 
have  lost  much  of  their  former  prestige  in  the 
commercial  world.  Perhaps  the  historian  of  the 
future,  when  electricity  has  supplanted  steam, 
will  have  to  assign  to  this  stream,  with  its 
magnificent  water  powers,  the  economic  superior- 
ity. It  is  distinctively  the  river  of  our  county, 
flowing  through  its  very  center,  and  fittingly 
bestows  upon  it  its  name.  This  appelation  is 
a  translation  of  the  Indian  name  of  the  river, 
"Mahkato."  "Mahka"  is  the  Sioux  for  "earth", 
and  "to"  for  "l^lue"  or  "green."  Samuel  J. 
Brown,  the  son  of  Major  Joseph  Brown,  by  a 
Sioux  mother,  who  has  been  born  and  brought 
up  among  Sisseton  Sioux  of  this  locality, 
stoutly  maintains  that  there  is  a  nasal  in  the 
\vord  and  that  the  true  pronunciation  and  spell- 
ing of  the  word  is  "Manka"  and  not  "Mahka" 
and  he  is  corroborated  by  three  other  educated 
Sioux  half  breeds:  William  M.  Eobertson,  Smi- 
ley Sheperd,  and  Thomas  A.  Robertson.  Cer- 
tainly no  better  authority  on  the  Dakota  than 
these  four  men.  This  difference  may  be  due  to 
dialectic  peculiarities  of  the  various  tribes.  The 
name  was  given  to  the  river  by  the  Indians 
because  of  a  very  peculiar  bed  of  greenish  clay, 
found  in  a  limited  quantity  upon  its  banks, 
about  four  miles  from  its  mouth.  This  clay 
was    very   highly    p'rized   by    the    Indians    as    a 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


pigment  with  which  to  paint  themselves.  They 
imagined  that  it  possessed  a  peculiar  virtue  to 
protect  them  from  the  missels  of  their  foes. 
The  French  called  the  stream  the  '^'"erde"  or 
"green"  river.  In  view  of  the  color  of  the  clay 
this  is  a  more  accurate  rendering  of  "To"  than 
the  English  word  "Blue,"  though  both  are  tech- 
rically  correct,  as  the  Sioux  language  makes  no 
distinction  between  the  two  colors. 

The  Blue  Earth  is  a  very  crooked  stream,  al- 
most doubling  upon  itself  ever  and  anon.  It 
also  abounds  in  rapids  and  often  has  abrupt 
banks — "cut  banks"  the  Indians  called  them. 

Its  main  western  tributary,  the  Watonwan, 
empties  into  it  not  far  from  the  center  of  the 
county.  This  river  has  preserved  its  ancient 
Dakota  name,  the  meaning  of  which  now  is  some- 
what uncertain.  Some  derive  it  from  "Wata" 
(a  canoe)  "wan"  (See),  others  say  it  comes 
from  "Ton wan"  (to  see  into  or  through)  and 
may  refer  to  the  clearness  of  its  water  or  to 
tlie  outlook  afforded  by  the  great  prairies  which 
border  it.  Still  others  claim  "Waton"  (bait) 
"Wan"   (where  we  get)   is  the  true  meaning. 

Perch  creek  is  a  tributary  of  the  Watonwan 
and  flows  into  it  from  the  south,  after  traversing 
about  fifteen  miles  through  the  Townships  of 
Pleasant  Mound  and  Ceresco,  in  the  southwest 
corner  of  Blue  Earth  County.  It  is  the  outlet 
of  Perch  Lake,  which  lies  just  beyond  the  county 
boundary.  The  origin  of  the  name  is  unknown, 
possibly  a  translation  of  the  Indian  name.  The 
lake  and  creek  -appear  with  their  present  name 
on   Nicollet's  map,  published  in  1843. 

Willow  Creek  is  another  stream,  which  drains 
the  southwest  part  of  the  county.  It  flows  a 
little  east  of  north  through  the  towns  of  Pleas- 
ant Mound  and  Shelby  and  empties  into  the 
BJue  Earth.  Its  name  was  given  it  by  one  of 
the  first  settlers  mainly  because  'of  the  number 
of  willows  growing  upon  its  bank,  and  probably 
in  part,  in  memory  of  one  of  the  many  streams 
of  the  same  name  found  in  the  Eastern  States. 

The  main  tributary  of  the  Blue  Earth  from 
the  east  is  the  Le  Sueur  river,  rising  beyond  the 
cast  line  of  the  County,  it  crosses  that  line  near 
itf,  center  and  flows  westerly  until  it  empties 
into  the  Blue  Earth  about  two  miles  and  a 
lialf   above    its    mouth.      Its  "present   name    was 


given  it  by  Nicollet  and  other  early  map  makers 
in  honor  of  the  French  explorer,  Jean  Le  Sueur, 
who  in  irOO  built  a  fort  at  its  mouth.  On  the 
earliest  French  maps  it  is  designated  as  the  "St. 
Remy  "  and  the  "St.  Henry."  Its  Indian  name 
is  unknown,  except  that  its  upper  half  is  called 
the  "Chankasna"  (shaking  wood)  on  Nicollet's 
map. 

The  jMaple  river  flows  northward  through  the 
center  of  the  county  and  empties  into  the  Le 
Sueur  about  four  miles  above  its  mouth.  The 
Sioux  called  it  the  "Tewapa-Tankiyan"  (Big 
Water-lillyroot)  river.  It  was  first  called  "The 
JEaple"  Ijy  the  United  States  surveyors  in  1854. 

The  Big  Cobb  rises  some  distance  beyond  the 
southeast  corner  of  the  county  and  flowing  north- 
westerly, mingles  its  waters  with  the  Le  Sueur 
about  a  mile  above  tlie  mouth  of  the  Maple.  The 
Indians  knew  it  as  "Tewapadan"  (Little  Lilly 
root  river).  The  earliest  designation  of  the 
stream  as  "Big  Cob,"  is  on  the  plats  made  by 
the  government  surveyors  in  1854.  A  branch  of 
the  Big  Cobb,  which  unites  with  it  in  the  north- 
east corner  of  Beauford  Township,  was  chris- 
tened on  the  same  government  plats,  'TJittle 
Cob."  Later  the  spelling  in  case  of  both  rivers 
was  changed  to  "Cobb." 

In  the  extreme  northwest  corner  of  the  county 
two  streams  empty  into  the  Minnesota  within 
about  eighty  rods  of  each  other,  known  as 
"Cambria  Creek"  and  the  'Tjittle  Cottonwood." 
The  latter  has  its  source  in  the  northeast  corner 
of  Cottonwood  County,  and  flows  easterly  clear 
across  Brown  County  and  a  small  corner  of 
Blue  Earth.  Its  name  is  a  translation  of  the 
old  Indian  name  "Waraju"  as  is  also  the  Big 
Cottonwood.  Near  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Cotton- 
wood tliere  used  to  be  a  very  fine  grove  of 
large  cottonwood  trees  and  it  is  from  this 
grove  the  Indian  name  was  derived. 

The  Little  Cottonwood,  also,  has  groves  of  the 
same  species  of  trees,  but  whether  it  was  from 
this  fact,  or  because  the  two  rivers  ran  parallel, 
in  near  proximity,  and  were  quite  similar  in 
many  characteristics,  that  the  Dakotas  called 
tliem  by  the  same  name,  cannot  now  be  deter- 
mined. Cambria  Creek  was  so  named  by  Henry 
Hughes  in  the  latter  part  of  the  sixties  after 
the    town    through   which   it   flows.      Its   Indian 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


name    is    unknown.      It    is    about    six    miles    in 
length. 

Minneopa  Creek  is  the  outlet  of  Lilly  and 
Crystal  lakes,  and  flows  into  the  Minnesota  a 
rriile  or  two  above  the  Blue  Earth.  It  is  about 
six  miles  in  length  and  has  on  it  the  famous 
waterfalls  which  are  responsible  for  its  name. 
It  is  the  only  body  of  water  in  the  County  be- 
sides the  Minnesota  and  the  Watonwan,  which 
still  retains  its  Indian  name  though  a  little  ab- 
breviated. The  full  Dakota  name  was  Minne 
(water)  inne  (falls)  nopa  (two).  As  the  name 
indicates  there  are  two  falls.  The  first  or  upper 
one  is  from  six  to  eight  feet  in  -height,  and  about 
six  rods  below  this  comes  the  main  falls,  about 
fifty  feet  high.  These  picturesque  falls  with  the 
wild,  romantic  scenery  about  them,  have  each 
year  for  the  past  half  century,  attracted  hund- 
reds of  sightseers,  and,  since  the  establishment 
here  of  a  state  park  in  1905,  the  place  has  be- 
come a  great  resort  for  picnics  and  pleasure 
parties. 

'  The  county  also  has  a  number  of  very  fine 
lakes.  None  of  them  are  large  and  yet  the  mean- 
dered lakes  of  the  county  occupy  about  14,000 
acres  of  its  territory.  Lake  Madison  is  the  lar- 
gest and  most  important  with  an  area  of  nearly 
two  thousand  acres.  Lura  and  Jackson  lakes  in 
the  south  part  of  the  county  are  next  in  size, 
comprising  ten  to  twelve  thousand  acres  apiece. 
Then  comes  Loon  and  Crystal  lakes  in  the  north- 
west part  of  the  County. 

The  County  is  exceptionally  well  timbered. 
The  bulk  of  its  northeast  portion  was  embraced 
in  that  great  forest  area  of  the  State  known  as 
the  Big  Woods.  As  already  stated,  each  of  the 
many  rivers  and  creeks  extend  along  belts  of  fine 
timber  through  all  the  prairie  regions,  while  the 
lakes  are  enclosed  in  beautiful  groves.  When 
the  white  man  first  came  to  this  undine  region 
the  great  forests  were  unbroken.  Cottonwoods, 
alms,  black  walnuts,  butternuts,  grew  abundantly 
in  the  valleys — many  of  giant  size.  While  the 
hillsides  and  uplands  of  the  forest  region  were 
thickly  covered  with  basswood,  elm,  oak,  hickory, 
hackberry  and  soft  and  hard  maple,  often  of 
lordly  dimensions.  Along  the  outskirts  of  the 
forest  grew  large  groves  of  graceful  poplars. 
In  the  openings  along  the  valleys  and  here  and 


there  along  the  edges  of  the  upland  woods,  were 
found  the  plum  tree  groves  filling  the  air  with 
sweet  perfume  in  the  spring  and  laden  with 
luscious  fruit,  red,  white,  yellow  and  speckled, 
in  the  autumn.  Two  or  three  varieties  of  the 
wild  gooseberry,  raspberry,  elderberry,  currants, 
grapes  and  many  other  wild  fruits  were  abund- 
ant. So  rich  was  the  native  flora  of  the  county 
that  several  chapters  might  be  devoted  to  it. 
The  natural  fauna  of  the  county,  too,  is  too 
lui'ge  a  subject  for  me  to  more  than  barely 
mention. 

Until  little  over  a  hundred  years  ago  the 
bufi'alo  for  centuries  unknown  used  to  roam  in 
vast  herds  over  the  county,  and  their  bones 
even  now  are  frequently  found,  buried  in  river 
sands  or  boggy  swamps.  Some  ten  or  twelve 
years  ago,  when  a  period  of  unusual  drought 
revealed  the  bottom  of  a  part  of  Swan  Lake, 
a  few  miles  north  of  this  county,  the  skulls 
and  bones  of  several  hundred  of  these  animals 
■\rere  discovered,  victims  doubtless  of  some  great 
animal  tragedy  in  the  long  ago.  Perhaps  the 
ice  broke  under  their  combined  weight,  or  maybe 
they  were  crowded  into  the  boggy  lake  in  a 
great  stampede  from  some  prairie  fire.  When 
Le  Sueur  in  1700  established  his  fort  at  the 
mouth  of  the  river,  which  now  bears  his  name, 
his  men  were  able  to  kill  four  hundred  buffaloes 
in  a  short  time  and  they  constituted  the  main 
sustenance  of  the  garrison.  Before  the  advent 
of  the  white  settlers  these  ancient  herds  of  the 
western  prairies  had  been  driven  by  hunters  far 
toward  the  setting  sun.  Only  once  or  twice  was 
a  stray  straggler  seen  in  the  county  by  the 
pioneer.  The  moose  and  the  elk  in  the  bygone 
centuries  were  common  in  the  woods  and  valleys 
of  the  county,  but  they  also  had  disappeared 
before  the  coming  of  the  white  man.  Beavers, 
also,  were  numerous  in  all  the  lakes  and  streams 
and  their  dams  may  still  be  traced  in  many 
places.  When  Le  Sueur  was  here  building  his 
frrt  in  the  winter  of  1700-1,  he  purchased  of  the 
Indians,  of  this  locality  three  hundred  beaver 
robes  of  nine  skins  each.  Long  before  the  ar- 
rival of  the  first  immigi-ants  these  animals  were 
also  extinct.  Deer,  however,  were  quite  plenti- 
ful long  after  the  settlements  of  the  whites  had 
began,  so  also  were  the  wolves  and  foxes.     An 


HISTOKY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


occasional  black  bear  was,  also,  found.  The 
red  and  white  squirrels,  the  raccoon,  the  mink, 
the  muskrat  and  many  other  small  animals  were 
found  here  by  the  whites  in  great  numbers. 
Jjucks,  geese,  prairie  chickens,  pheasants,  pig- 
eons and  birds  without  number  filled  the  forests, 
kkes  and  prairies,  and  remnants  of  the  wild 
game  of  the  country  can  still  be  found.  No 
county  in  the  state  excelled  Blue  Earth  in  its 
abundance  of  animal  or  vegetable  life. 

The  soil,  with  ^■ery  limited  exceptions,  is  a 
ht,avy  bla-ck  loam  with  clay  subsoil.  There  is 
very  little  sandy  ground  in  the  county  and  but 
small  areas  are  flat  and  boggy.  As  a  rule  the 
land  gently  undulates  affording  excellent  drain- 
age. Inexhaustible  quarries  of  stone,  adapted 
for  building  and  for  lime  and  cement,  are  found 
ill  the  vicinity  of  Mankato,  and  beds  of  clay 
suitable  for  brick  and  pottery  are  abundant  in 
the  same  locality.  A  ledge  of  brown  magnesia 
stone  is  capable  of  a  very  high  and  beautiful 
polish  and  it  was  recently  used  in  wainscoting 
the  interior  of  the  new  magnificant  State  Capi- 
tol with  charming  effect. 

The  earliest  inhabitants  of  the  county  known 
to  the  whites  were  the  Sioux  or  Dakota  In- 
dians. These  aborigines  had  a  tradition  that  a 
few  centuries  ago  the  lowas  and  Omahas  occu- 
pied all  of  the  Minnesota  Valley.  They  were 
constantly  at  war  with  them  and  bloody  raids 
were  common  from  time  immemorial.  The 
Sioux  then  lived  around  Mille  Lac  and  Lake 
Superior.  With  the  aid  of  firearms,  which  they 
obtained  from  the  French  traders,  the  Sioux 
finally  succeeded,  after  a  desperate  struggle,  in 
driving  both  lowas  and  Omahas  out  of  the 
Minnesota  and  Blue  Earth  Valleys  and  occupied 
tliis  wealthy  region  for  their  hunting  grounds. 
The  date  of  this  occupation  of  the  county  by 
the  Sioux  was,  as  near  as  it  can  be  fixed  by 
tlieir  traditions,  about  the  first  of  the  seventeenth 
century.  When  Le  Sueur  visited  the  county  in 
1700  he  seems  to  have  found  the  Sioux  then  in 
occupation. 

The  Sioux  or  Dakotas,  who  were  the  only 
aborigines  known  to  the  whites,  were  divided 
into  roving  bands  of  hunters.  Most  of  those, 
who  claimed  Blue  Earth  County  as  their  usual 
hunting  ground,  belonged  to  the  Sisseton  branch 


of  the  nation.  When  the  white  settlers  first 
came  to  the  County  the  Indians  claimed  Sleepy 
Lye,  whose  principal  village  was  usually  located 
on  Swan  Lake  in  Nicollet  County,  as  their 
head  chief. 

An  Indian  chief,  however,  has  very  little  au- 
thority. Government  and  law  with  them  are 
in  the  most  rudementary  state.  For  the  most 
part  in  our  Sioux  communities  each  person  was 
a  law  unto  himself.  They  seldom  congregated 
in  large  villages,  but  usually  went  in  small 
groups  of  four  or  five  families,  associated  to- 
gether for  mutual  protection,  each  group  having 
some  person,  who  seemed  better  adapted  than 
the  rest  to  take  the  lead  and  was  therefore  made 
a  sort  of  sub-chief.  The  real  power,  however, 
remained  in  the  hands  of  the  warriors,  and  no 
important  move  could  be  taken  without  a  coun- 
cil of  all  the  braves. 

They  had  no  fixed  habitation,  but  lived  in 
conical  tents  or  teepees,  which  during  the  sum- 
mer, they  constantly  moved  from  place  to  place 
as  they  wandered  far  and  near  in  quest  of  game. 
The  winters  were  spent  in  some  wooded  valley, 
\i'here  there  was  shelter  and  fuel.  The  bottom 
of  the  teepee  would  be  banked  about  a  foot  to 
keep  out  the  wind  and  frost.  A  fire  was  kept 
burning  in  tlie  center  and  a  hole  was  left  open 
at  the  apex,  where  some  of  the  smoke  escaped. 
C'ccasionally  a  bark  hut  would  be  erected.  Ow- 
ing to  their  utter  improvidence  in  making  pro- 
vision for  the  morrow,  the  Indians  often  suf- 
ficed from  hunger  during  the  long  cold  months 
of  winter.  Sometimes  a  few  bushels  of  wild 
rice  and  roots  would  be  laid  aside  against  such 
evil  days.  During  the  summer  months,  how- 
ever, when  berries,  roots  and  game  were  abund- 
ant, they  led  a  free  and  happy  life. 

They  were  not  at  all  particular  as  to  their 
food.  They  ate  all  kinds  of  animals  and  every 
part  of  them.  Muskrats,  wolves,  a  dead  horse 
or  cow,  and  no  matter  how  putrid  the  flesh 
might  be,  they  ate  all  with  a  relish.  A  fat  dog 
was  considered  a  great  delicacy  and  formed  the 
principal  dish  at  their  great  feasts.  The  buf- 
faloes were  the  principal  game  of  the  prairie 
Indians,  and  it  was  the  custom  of  the  Blue 
Earth  County  tribes  to  go  on  one  or  more  buf- 
falo hunts  each  year.     In  the  spring  they  flocked 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


into  the  great  hard  maple  groves  of  Maakato 
and  vicinity  and  gorged  themselves  sick  on 
maple  sugar,  of  which  they  were  very  fond. 
They  were  not  over  cleanly  in  its  manufacture 
and  frequently  tossed  their  muskrats,  and  turtles, 
and  ducks  just  as  they  were  killed  into  the 
boiling  sap  to  cook. 

The  Dakotas,  however,  were  not  devoid  of 
many  virtues.  As  a  rule  they  did  but  little  in- 
jury to  the  settler  or  his  property.  Wholly 
unaccustomed,  as  they  were,  to  any  restraint 
of  law,  and  feeling  aggrieved  by  the  aggressions 
of  the  white  men  upon  their  ancient  domain,  it 
is  to  their  credit  that  they  were  seldom  guilty 
of  any  special  crimes.  They  were  hospitable 
but  expected  everybody  else  to  be  the  same. 
I'hey  had  very  little  conception  of  the  right  of 
personal  property.  If  anyone  had  anything 
more  than  he  needed  to  satisfy  his  present  wants, 
it  was  considered  the  proper  thing  to  divide  it 
with  any  who  lacked. 

In  their  religious  views,  like  all  ignorant 
and  heathen  people,  they  were  quite  supersti- 
tious. Every  tree  and  stone  and  grassy  knoll, 
and  river  and  lake  they  imagined  to  be  the 
abode  of  some  spirit. 

An  Indian  would  come  across  a  stone  or 
tree  in  his  path,  and  would  decorate  it  with  a 
fillet  of  grass,  and  would  offer  a  little  tobacco 
or  perhaps  a  bird  or  dog  to  the  spirit,  which 
lie  supposed  lived  there.  The  mounds  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  they  regarded  as  the 
habitations  of  some  gods,  and  they  were  called 
"Wauk-en-teepee,"  "The  houses  of  the  gods." 

Their  method  of  burial  was  to  wrap  the 
body  in  a  robe  or  blanket  and  lay  it  on  the 
lower  branches  of  some  spreading  tree,  or  on  a 
scaffold    constructed    by    laying    a   few   poles    on 


some  forked  posts.  After  the  flesh  had  decayed, 
tJie  bones  would  be  gathered,  and  a  mound 
would  be  erected  by  the  squaws  carrying  earth 
in  baskets  and  piling  it  over  them.  These 
m.ounds  often  attained  to  the  height  of  eight 
or  ten  feet,  and  were  usually  put  in  prominent 
places,  on  the  top  of  a  hill,  or  on  the  crest  of 
some  high  bluff.  This  was  done  that  the  friends 
of  the  departed  might  have  his  grave  in  sight, 
as  it  was  supposed  every  deceased  person  had 
two  souls,  one  of  which  tarried  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  grave,  while  the  other  departed  to  the 
happy  hunting  ground. 

Although  the  Indians  made  their  homes  in 
this  county  for  hundreds,  if  not  thousands,  of 
years,  yet  within  a  year  after  their  departure 
no  trace  of  their  long  occupation  could  be 
found,  save  an  occasional  burial  mound,  a  flint 
arrow  head  or  stone  hammer  head  picked  up 
at  rare  intervals  from  the  soil.  Their  wigwam 
architecture  they  carried  away  with  them,  their 
agriculture  never  exceeded  a  few  hills  of  com 
planted  by  the  squaws  in  some  river  bottom. 
Their  transportation  facilities  consisted  simply 
of  a  dug  out  canoe  on  water,  and,  on  land,  two 
slender  poles,  the  front  ends  of  which  were 
fastened  one  on  each  side  of  a  wolflsh  looking 
dog  or  shaggy  pony,  while  the  rear  ends  drag- 
ged upon  the  ground,  carrying  bundles  of  house- 
hold goods  and  the  smaller  papooses.  Their 
literature  was  confined  wholly  to  oral  traditions 
and  wigwam  stories,  but  without  the  written 
page,  these  all  perished  with  the  telling,  save 
an  occasional  fragment  picked  up  by  some  white 
trader  or  missionary.  Some  of  these  bits  of 
Indian  lore,  which  have  specially  to  do  with 
Blue  Earth  County,  we  shall  consider  in  our 
next  chapter. 


CHAPTER  II 

INDIAN    LEGENDS    OE    THE    BLUE 
EAETH. 


The  art  of  the  story  teller  was  well  developed 
and  much  in  vogue  among  our  Sioux  Indians. 
The  frequent  feasts  and  the  long  winters, 
when  the  people  were  confined  to  their  wigwams, 
stimulated  greatly  the  growth  of  this  kind  of 
entertainment.  A  good  story  teller  was  ever  in 
gj'eat  demand  and  in  high  honor  and  this  en- 
couraged the  cultivation  of  his  talent.  Very 
few  of  these  Indian  tales  have  been  saved,  but 
the  few  we  have  show  how  rich  the  treasure 
must  have  been.  The  country  of  the  Blue 
Earth  was  ever  a  favorite  haunt  of  the  red 
man.  Its  abundant  fruits  and  game,  its  va- 
ried and  charming  scenery  and,  because  of 
these,  its  many  memories  of  a  happy  and  hoary 
past,  all  tended  to  make  it  rich  in  legendary 
lore.  Only  a  few  of  these  wild  tales  from  the 
wigwam  have  I  been  able  to  glean.  The  shades 
of  oblivion  had  long  buried  the  great  bulk  of 
them  in  the  ashes  of  the  Sisseton  camp  fires, 
cold  now  on  the  banks  of  the  Mahkato  for  many 
a  year.  The  first  story  I  shall  give  was  orig- 
inally translated  into  a  civilized  tongue  by  an 
old  French  voyager  and  is  entitled: 

THE    HAUNTED    A'ALLEY. 

A  few  miles  south  of  Mankato  there  is  a 
beautiful  valley  located  in  the  angular  piece 
01  land  formed  by  the  confluence  of  the  Waton- 
wan and  Blue  Earth  rivers.  Its  romantic  posi- 
tion and  beautiful  scenery  impart  to  it  an  in- 
describable loveliness.  It  nestles  mid  lofty  hills 
covered  with  sturdy  oaks,  "'Monarchs  of  the  For- 
est," which  shade  it  from  the  summer's  heat,  and 
shelter  it  from  the  wintry  blasts.  In  its  center 
a  transparent  lake  mirrors  the  beauty  of  its 
wooded  banks,  almost  everywhere  heavily  fes- 
tooned with  vines  of  the  Wahoo  and  wild  grape. 
A  small  sparkling  stream,  the  outlet  of  the  lake. 


gently  meanders  through  lovely  groves,  until  it 
reaches  and  is  lost  ia  the  turbid  waters  of  the 
Watonwan.  Springs  of  the  purest  water  gush 
licre  and  there  from  the  hillsides. 

The  Indians  told  of  dark  deeds  done  in  this 
valley  and  dared  not  go  near  it,  as  tradition 
said  no  one  had  ever  returned  ahve  who  had 
dared  to  enter  its  enchanted  bounds.  Spirits 
of  warriors  clothed  in  bodies  of  mangled  flesh 
and  covered  with  ghastly,  gaping  wounds  were 
seen  by  those  belated  in  the  chase,  who  happened 
inadvertently  to  pass  by  its  dreaded  boundaries, 
and  many  a  warrior  told  of  hearing  awful  and 
unearthly  moans  and  shrieks  from  those,  who 
had  entered  it  against  the  will  of  the  great 
spirit,  while  huge  specters  of  smoke  and  lurid 
flame  were  seen  to  issue  from  it. 

War  Eagle  was  a  young  and  mighty  chief  of 
the  Sissetons,  who  dwelt  ia  the  rich  country 
at  the  great  bend  of  the  Minnesota,  by  the 
mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth.  In  the  chase  and  on 
many  a  battle  field  he  had  disting-uished  himself 
far  above  all  the  mighty  men  of  his  tribe,  for 
he  was  powerful  of  body  and  stout  of  heart.  In 
the  great  councils  of  his  nation,  his  manly  form 
towered  a  head  taller  than  all  the  great  war- 
riors and  his  advice  never  went  unheeded.  He 
was  indeed,  the  idol  of  his  tribe.  All  sang  his 
jiraises  and  many  a  maiden  had  cast  longing 
eyes  at  him  and  many  a  dusky  mamma  had 
schemed  and  planned  ia  vain  to  catch  him  for 
her  daughter.  He,  however,  was  of  a  melan- 
clioly  disposition  and  would  not  wed.  He  was 
fond  of  wandering  alone  in  meditation,  and  the 
solitude  of  the  forest  was  his  favorite  haunt. 
Here  his  keen  eye  and  quick  brain  had  ac- 
quainted him  with  all  the  secrets  of  nature.  He 
reveled  in  her  beauty  and  rejoiced  in  her 
mysteries. 

One  day  in  the  heat  of  the  chase  he  pursued 
a  deer  into  this  enchanted  valley  without  realiz- 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


ing  where  he  was  until  in  its  midst.  Capti- 
vated by  its  beauty,  he  dismissed  every  super- 
stitious fear,  and  concluded  to  make  this  vale 
his  place  of  refuge  from  those  who  were  trying 
to  force  him  to  wed  a  girl  he  did  not  love. 
Many  a  day  he  spent  in  this  delightful  spot, 
musing  alone  in  its  peaceful  solitude. 

One  day  a  young  brave  came  breathless  into 
the  village  which  lay  near  the  confines  of  this 
valley  with  the  startling  intelligence  that  a 
war  party  of  their  dreaded  foes  the  Chippeways 
were  camped  on  the  plateau  near  the  mouth  of 
the  Blue  Earth.  The  village  which  but  a  few 
moments  before,  was  the  very  picture  of  tran- 
quility was  suddenly  transformed  to  the  wildest 
commotion.  The  women  and  children  ran  hither 
and  thither  in  a  panic  of  fear.  The  men  has- 
tily decked  themselves  for  war,  and  hurried  to 
the  council  lodge.  Soon  a  band  of  chosen 
warriors  issued  forth  led  by  War  Eagle,  their 
trusted  chief,  who  was  anxious  to  avenge  the 
death  of  a  very  dear  friend,  who  but  a  fort- 
night before  had  been  waylaid  and  killed  by 
some  prowling  Chippeways,  while  hunting  in 
the  valleys  of  the  Little  Waraju,  or  Cottonwood 
river. 

The  warlike  expedition  was  not  long  in  reach- 
ing the  neighborhood  of  their  deadly  enemies. 
Crawling  stealthily  up  through  the  bushes  which 
skirted  the  sides  of  the  table  land  on  which 
their  foes  were  encamped  they  got  within  a  few 
rods  of  their  tepees.  They  soon  discovered  that 
they  outnumbered  the  Chippeways  more  than 
four  to  one.  In  view  of  this  fact,  and  of  the 
further  reason,  that  it  was  hardly  yet  past  the 
hour  of  noon,  it  was  determined  to  attack  at 
once  and  not  wait  for  a  daybreak  surprise,  after 
the  usual  mode  of  Indian  warfare.  It  was  a 
dtsperate  fight.  The  Chippeways  were  all  tried 
warriors,  and  dearly  did  each  brave  sell  his  life 
on  that  bloody  field. 

One  Chippeway  chief  at  last  only  remained, 
but  though  all  his  friends  had  fallen,  he  still 
stood  lilfe  a  rock  in  front  of  his  wigwam,  hold- 
ing alone  the  whole  Sioux  tribe  at  bay.  The 
slain  lay  about  him  in  heaps,  but  his  great 
strength  and  courage  seemed  yet  unabated.  At 
last  a  crowd  of  Sioux  warriors  made  a  rush 
upon   him   and   although   half   of   them   fell   be- 


neath his  mighty  blows,  still,  by  their  over- 
v/helming  numbers,  they  were  on  the  point  of 
wrenching  his  scalp  from  his  head,  when  War 
Eagle  who  had  watched  with  admiration  the  • 
chief's  splendid  valor  and  had  been  won  by  it, 
rushed  in  between  him  and  his  foes  and  com- 
pelled his  brother  Sioux  to  desist. 

As  the  Chippeway  chief  arose  it  was  to  wit- 
ness some  of  the  Sioux  dragging  from  his  wig- 
wam his  only  daughter,  a  beautiful  maiden  of 
tender  years,  for  whose  life  and  honor  he  had 
fought  so  desperately  that  day.  Turning,  how- 
ever, to  his  noble  benefactor  he  committed  his 
daughter  to  his  care,  and  with  stately  tread 
walked  into  the  neighboring  woods  and  disap- 
peared. 

The  Sioux  warriors  glared  like  wolves  at  his 
retreating  form  and  were  greatly  chagrined  and 
displeased  to  have  their  foe  thus  escape,  but 
none  dared  openly  to  oppose  the  will  of  War 
Eagle.  But  their  hearts  were  ugly  toward  him, 
and  as  they  mourned  in  the  scalp  dance  their 
many  friends  and  relatives  slain,  it  made  them 
foel  still  uglier. 

War  Eagle  took  the  captured  Chippeway  mai- 
den in  accordance  with  her  father's  request  as  his 
portion  of  the  booty,  and  the  famous  young  chief, 
who  had  rejected  all  the  fair  daughters  of  his 
own  tribe,  was  at  once  smitten  by  the  great 
beauty  and  charming  ways  of  this  alien  girl. 
He  brought  to  her  the  choicest  game  of  the 
forest,  and  waited  upon  her  as  upon  a  princess. 
His  affections  met  with  a  hearty  response  on  the 
part  of  the  maiden  and  they  were  very  happy 
together. 

The  treatment  War  Eagle  gave  the  maid,  so 
different  from  that  due  a  slave,  still  further 
aroused  the  jealousy  and  hatred  of  his  tribe, 
and  in  a  secret  council  it  was  determined  that 
the  beautiful  young  Chippeway  must  die.  The 
plot  was  to  assassinate  her  while  her  lover  was 
away  on  a  hunt,  but  War  Eagle  returned  much 
sooner  than  was  expected,  and  just  in  time  to 
save  his  fair  bride  from  the  cruel  hands  of  the 
savage  executioners.  Quickly  burying  his  toma- 
hawk in  the  skulls  of  four  of  them,  he  seized 
his  beautiful  wife  and  fled  with  her  to  the  en- 
chanted valley,  near  whose  dread  border  no  pur- 
si.er  or  avenger  of  blood  dared  venture.     Here 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


for  many  moons  they  lived  most  happily  to- 
gether. The  forest  game  had  here,  also,  found 
an  asylum  and  was  much  more  abundant  than 
elsewhere.  So  the  young  brave  and  his  fair 
bride  did  not  lack  for  food. 

One  day,  however,  War  Eagle  pursued  a  deer 
some  distance  into  the  forest  beyond  the  confines 
of  his  valley,  and  being  discovered  by  his  foes, 
an  ambush  was  quickly  made  for  him,  and  he 
v.'as  smitten  by  a  shower  of  arrows,  two  of  which 
pierced  his  heart.  He  fell  with  a  shriek,  which 
reached  the  ears  of  his  young  bride,  and  in  a 
few  moments  she  was  by  his  side,  but  it  was 
too  late  to  bid  his  manly  soul  adieu,  he  had  gone 
to  the  happy  hunting  grounds.  Bending  over 
liis  majestic  form — majestic  even  in  death — she 
drew  from  its  sheath  his  sharp  hunting  knife 
and,  plunging  it  into  her  own  fair  bosom,  she 
fell  dead  upon  the  body  of  her  noble  lover. 

After  this  the  enchanted  valley  became 
more  "Waul-iin"  than  ever  to  the  Sisseton  Da- 
kotas. 

The  next  story  I  shall  give  is  partly  at  least 
historical — the  scene  being  laid  since  the  found- 
ing of  Fort  Snelling,  and  the  principal  charac- 
ters were  well  known  personages,  some  four 
score  years  ago.  Indeed  the  entire  tale  may  be 
the  romance  of  a  real  life,  for  the  true  story 
of  many  a  life  is  stranger  than  fiction.  The 
tale  may  be  entitled : 

THE   DEVOTED   FATHER. 

About  the  beginning  of  the  last  century  there 
lived  at  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  a  noted 
Indian  chief,  named  Ahkitchetah-dutah.  His 
village  was  among  the  principal  ones  belonging 
to  the  powerful  Sisseton  tribes,  who  called 
themselves  the  Miakechakesa  and  who  inhabited 
the  country  at  the  great  bend  of  the  Minnesota, 
and  the   valleys   of  the   Blue  Earth. 

Ahkitchetah-dutah  was  possessed  of  very 
strong  affections,  and  these  were  bestowed  upon 
a  maiden  of  his  tribe,  who  was  distinguished 
hy  her  comeliness  of  person  and  sweetness  of 
mind.  His  young  wife,  however,  died  when  their 
only  child  was  an  infant.  This  great  sorrow 
ever  after  clouded  the  life  of  the  chief  and 
he  never   remarried.     His   whole   soul   was   now 


wrapped  up  in  his  only  son,  Mahzah  Kootay. 
The  child  grew  into  young  manhood,  and  be- 
came a  leader  among  the  young  braves  of  his 
\illage.  In  the  summer  of  1819  Mazah  Kootay, 
accompanied  by  a  number  of  other  young  braves, 
went  out  upon  the  plains  to  hunt  buffalo.  Wlien 
in  the  vicinity  of  where  Council  Bluffs  now 
stands,  they  fell  in  with  some  designing  traders, 
who  sold  them  liquor.  In  some  drunken  brawl 
our  young  brave  and  another  young  Indian  shot 
and  killed  one  of  the  United  States  soldiers, 
and  then  fled  home  to  the  valley  of  the  ]\Iinne- 
sota. 

The  government  at  once  demanded  the  sur- 
render of  the  murderers  from  the  Indians  and 
withheld  the  payment  of  all  annuities  to  them 
until  the  demand  was  complied  with.  At  last 
upon  the  ad\ice  of  Colin  Campbell  the  trader, 
the  Sissetons  decided  in  a  council  held  at  Big 
Stone  Lake,  that  the  two  }oung  men,  who  ad- 
mitted th(5ir  guilt,  should  surrender  themselves 
to  the  government  for  trial.  Accordingly  Mah- 
za  Kootay  and  his  companion,  attended  by  a 
number  of  their  friends  and  relations,  repaired 
to  Fort  Snelling  to  comply  with  the  decision  of 
the   council. 

Ahkitchetah-dutah,  the  aged  father,  was  over- 
whelmed with  grief  and  went  with  the  party 
determined  to  offer  himself  as  a  substitute  for 
his  son.  ^\'hen  within  a  mile  of  the  fort  the 
party  halted,  and  the  old  chief  and  the  two 
young  brakes  painted  themselves  black,  stuck 
splinters  of  wood  through  their  arms  at  the 
elbows  to  show  their  contempt  of  pain,  had 
their  hands  fastened  with  thongs  of  buffalo 
hide,  sang  their  death  dirge,  and,  bidding  their 
companions  farewell,  marched  into  the .  fort  on 
November  12th,  1820,  flying  a  British  flag, 
which  was  given  them  in  the  late  war.  Col. 
Snelling,  who  was  in  command  of  the  fort,  had 
a  fire  built  ui  the  middle  of  the  parade  grounds, 
and  the  British  flag  publicly  burned  with  due 
ceremony.  The  earnest  appeal  of  the  old  chief 
to  be  substituted  in  place  of  his  son,  however, 
was  rejected  by  the  officer,  but  he  was  held  for 
some  time  as  a  hostage,  while  the  two  young 
men  were  sent  under  military  escort  to  St. 
Louis  for  trial.  Here  they  were  detained  in 
prison   for   some   months,   but   no   witness   being 


10 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


found  against  them,  they  were  finally  released 
by  the  officials,  their  case  being  dismissed  for 
want  of  prosecution. 

While  on  his  way  home,  however,  he  hap- 
pened  to  run  across  the  path  of  the  deadliest 
enemy  a  Sioux  Indian  could  meet,  in  the  per- 
son of  the  old  Indian  fighter,  John  Moredock. 
Many  years  before,  when  Moredock  was  a  young 
man,  all  his  folks  had  been  butchered  with  all 
the  horrors  of  Indian  cruelty  by  a  party  of 
Sioux  Indians,  as  they  were  coming  up  the 
Mississippi  river  in  a  flat  boat.  Crazed  to  des- 
peration by  this  awful  deed,  John  Moredock 
sv?ore  a  terrible  vengeance  upon  the  whole  Sioux 
nation.  Not  satisfied  with  killing  all  the  mur- 
derers, he  made  it  the  business  of  his  life  to 
kill  every  Sioux  he  could  find.  An  unerring 
n^arksman,  and  the  most  desperate  fighter  in  all 
the  west,  he  was  for  years  the  terror  of  all  the 
Sioux  tribes. 

Mazah-Kootay  was  coming  through  a  piece 
of  timber  when  he  met  the  old  hunter.  In  a 
raoment  each  man  was  behind  a  tree  and  watch- 
ing his  opportunity.  Moredock  put  his  hat  on 
tJie  end  of  his  ramrod  and  reached  it  out  just 
a  little,  when  instantly  Mazah  Kootay  put  a 
ball  through  it,  and  Moredock  fell  with  it  as 
though  killed.  The  Indian  rushed  up  immed- 
iately to  scalp  his  victim,  when  he  suddenly 
arose  and  shot  him  dead,  and  Moredock  added 
one  more  scalp  to  the  scores  he  already  carried. 
Ignorant  of  his  true  fate,  Ahkitchetah-dutah 
looked  in  vain  for  the  return  of  his  son.  The 
whites  assured  him  that  his  son  had  been,  re- 
leased by  them,  but  the  old  chief  would  not  be- 
lieve them;  he  was  firmly  persuaded  the  pale 
faces  had  killed  him  and  his  grief  was  pitiable. 
"When  Major  Long  explored  the  Minnesota  river 
in  1820  he  did  not  dare  visit  the  mouth  of  the 
Blue  Earth,  because  of  the  disaffection  of  the 
Indians  there,  due  to  the  sorrow  of  their  chief. 
The  chief  finding  his  grief  unbearable  devoted 
himself  to  death,  after  the  Indian  fashion,  and 
lived  alone,  away  from  his  tribe,  in  the  hope 
someone  would  kill  him,  but  the  wild  beasts 
avoided  him,  and  the  scalp  hunting  Chippeways 
fled  from  him. 

One  day  a  band  of  twenty  young  braves  of 
his  tribe  was  formed  to  go  to  the  famous  pipe- 


stone  quarry.  The  country  was  known  to  be 
infested  by  prowling  bands  of  the  Saques  and 
Foxes,  who  had  long  been  at  enmity  with  the 
Sioux.  Ahkitchetah-dutah  went  with  this  band 
and  on  the  journey  hung  behind  in  the  hope  he 
might  be  killed,  but  to  no  avail,  for  no  enemy 
appeared.  Having  reached  on  their  homeward 
journey  a  valley  of  the  Watonwan,  about  four 
miles  above  its  confluence  with  the  Blue  Earth, 
they  camped  for  the  night.  As  they  were  so 
near  home  their  usual  vigilence  was  relaxed. 
At  day  break  next  morning  they  were  awakened 
Ijy  a  volley  of  bullets,  and  five  of  the  Sioux 
fell  dead.  This  was  Ahkitchetah-dutah's  .oppor- 
tunity and,  seizing  his  arms,  he  rushed  forth 
to  meet  the  charge  of  the  enemy  alone  and  slew 
four  of  them  before  he  himself  fell,  riddled  with 
bullets.  This  sudden  and  desperate  act  of  the 
old  chief  disconcerted  the  Saques  and  Poxes  in 
their  charge,  and  gave  the  _  Sioux  a  chance  to 
rally  and  to  drive  their  enemy  back.  The 
Sioux  then  dug  rifle  pits  with  their  tomahawks 
and  knives  and  thus  entrenched  fought  heroic- 
ally, and  finally  beat  off  the  Saques  and  Foxes, 
vvho  outnumbered  them  three  to  one,  but  who 
had  been  disheartened  by  the  desperate  valor  of 
Ahkitchetah-dutah. 

We  are  apt  to  thinlc  of  the  Indian  as  only  a 
blood  thirsty  savage  delighting  in  the  torture 
of  his  enemy,  or  girdled  with  gorey  human  scalps, 
indulging  in  the  horrid  rites  of  the  war  dance. 
He  hardly  ever  appears  on  the  stage  of  our 
national  history,  save  in  the  role  of  some  ter- 
rible massacre.  Then  the  last  and  most  im- 
pressive view  the  early  pioneers  usually  have  of 
the  Indian  is  with  scalping  knife  and  toma- 
hawk, killing  the  women  and  children  along  the 
frontier. 

There  is  no  question,  but  that  the  Indian, 
like  all  savages,  was  prone  to  follow  the  war- 
path and  that  his  methods  of  warfare  were 
sliockingly  bloody  and  cruel.  Our  red  man  was, 
however,  possessed  of  many  noble  virtues  and 
some  high  ideals,  and  it  is  partly  because  they 
reveal  this  better  side  of  his  character,  that  I 
insert  these  glimpses  of  his  home  life.  It  will 
be  noted  that  like  most  tales  of  the  wild,  each 
has   a  tragic  note. 


mSTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


11 


THE   DEATH   DIRGE   OF    A   DAKOTA 
MAIDEN. 

Hapan  was  a  beautiful  Dakota  maiden,  the 
belle  of  lier  tribe  who  lived  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Mahkato  river.  Many  had  been  the  suitors 
for  her  hand,  but  she  disdained  to  notice  any 
of  them,  except  young  Chaskay,  a  valiant  young 
brave.  He  was  a  splendid  specimen  of  physi- 
cal manhood,  tall,  straight  as  an  arrow,  and  a 
perfect  athlete.  His  quick  piercing  eye,  high 
forehead  and  classic  face  betokened  the  highest 
intelligence  and,  though  he  was  but  a  youth, 
liis  fame  already  as  an  orator  and  wise  advisor 
was  great  in  the  councils  of  his  tribe.  None 
swifter  than  he  in  the  chase,  none  more  skillful 
than  he  in  the  great  ball  games,  none  stronger 
or  braver  than  he  on  the  warpath.  Chaskay  and 
Hapan  had  been  lovers  from  their  childhood 
and  were  never  happy  save  when  together.  But 
a  great  war  party  had  left  the  village  two  weeks 
before  to  go  against  the  Chippeways,  to  avenge 
the  blood  of  a  number  of  relatives  and  friends, 
^(■ho  had  been  waylaid  and  murdered  while 
hunting  beyond  Swan  Lake  by  a  skulking  band 
of  this  ancient  foe.  With  this  party  had  gone 
young  Chaskay  as  its  head  war  chief.  Tender 
had  been  tlie  parting  between  him  and  Hapan, 
and  it  was  with  a  mingled  feeling  of  dread 
apprehension  and  loving  pride  the  maiden  had 
watched  her  lover's  departure  on  that  fateful 
morning.  At  the  head  of  the  long  column  of 
noble  warriors  he  had  marched  with  stately 
mien  down  the  beautiful  valley  of  the  Minne- 
sota. But  the  week  before,  the  remnant  of  this 
strong  band  of  warriors  had  returned,  most  of 
them  covered  with  ghastly  wounds.  Our  war- 
riors approach  having  been  discovered  by  some 
of  the  enemy's  scouts,  an  ambush  had  been  made 
for  them  by  an  overwhelming  force  of  the  Chip- 
peways. 

Terrible  had  been  the  struggle  and  awful  the 
carnage.  With  desperate  valor  Chaskay  had 
fought  and  it  was  not  before  he  had  laid  low 
many  of  his  enemies,  that  he  was  finally  over- 
powered and  slain.  The  awful  news  pierced 
Hapan's  heart  like  an  arrow  and  for  several 
clays  she  brooded  over  the  melancholy  event  in 
sullen  silent  agony.     But  one  morning  the  slum- 


bering village,  which  nestled  in  the  low  land 
near  the  mouth  of  the  Mahkato  was  startled  by 
the  sad,  plaintive  notes  of  her  death  song. 
Upon  the  top  of  a  tall  oak,  which  topped  a  rockj- 
pi-ecipice  just  back  of  the  village,  she  sat 
decked  in  all  her  bridal  garments.  The  words 
of  her  death  dirge  were  these: 

"Wicanripi  rota  hiyeye 
Koda,  he  opa  hiyaye 
Mix  owapa. 

Which  translated  read  as  follows: 

My   friend  has  gone 

His  road  is  the  Milky  A^'ay, 

The   same   road   I   will   travel. 

As  slie  finished  her  song  she  east  herself  down 
from  the  dizzy  height  upon  the  stones  below, 
and  her  soul  sped  to  join  her  lover  in  the 
happy  spirit  land. 

The  last  of  tliese  Indian  tales  which  were  in 
any  way  connected  with  our  county  is  a  folk 
lore  story.  It  was  translated  into  English  at 
the  instance  of  the  Sioux  Missionary,  Dr.  Wil- 
hamson,  by  one  of  his  converted  Indians  and 
preserves    many    of    the    Dakota    idioms. 

THE   LEGEND   OF   NO   SOUL. 
(A  Dakota  Folklore  story.) 

Once  on  a  time  there  lived  in  the  valley  of 
the  Minnesota  a  father  who  had  twelve  sons.  In 
front  of  the  lodge  grew  a  number  of  fine  oak 
trees,  while  just  beside  it  there  gushed  from  the 
foot  of  the  bluff  a  beautiful  spring  of  water, 
which  the  cold  of  winter  or  the  summer's 
drouth  never  efiected.  It  was  a  charming  spot, 
slieltered  from  every  storm,  and  the  luxuriant 
verdure  of  summer  v:as  always  fresh  and  decked 
with  such  a  profusion  of  flowers  that  the  eye 
of  the  beholder  was  fascinated.  But  Wishwee, 
the  oldest  son,  wa.?,  not  satisfied  with  the  hunt- 
ing grounds  of  his  fathers'  and  concluded  to  go 
out  into  the  world  to  seek  his  fortune.  So  he 
came  to  his  father  and  said :  '"Father,  I  am 
tired  of  viewing  always  the  same  scenes  and 
wish  to  go  out  into  the  world  and  se-e  other 
nations  and  other  lands,  that  I  might  know 
how    they    prosper.      Wilt    thou    give    me    the 


12 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


beautiful  black  horse  that  thou  didst  receive 
from  the  great  chief  of  the  West  for  my  jour- 
ney i*"  To  this  the  father  answered,  "My  son, 
tJiou  hast  ever  been  very  dear  to  me  and  since 
thou  hast  decided  to  travel  into  distant  lands 
thou  mayest  take  the  beautiful  black  horse,  but 
remember  this  if  thou  desirest  him  to  go  very 
fast  or  carry,  thee  over  any  obstacle  in  the  road 
never  strike  him  more  than  once  and  he  will 
never  fail  thee."  To  which  the  son  replied, 
■'Your  words,  dear  father,  make  me  glad,  and  1 
shall  heed  thy  advice.  As  long  as  yonder  spring 
is  clear  thou  wilt  know  that  I  am  alive,  but  if 
its  limpid  waters  shall  become  troubled  and 
muddy  then  thou  wilt  mourn  me  as  dead." 

It  was  a  glorious  morning  in  the  moon  of 
the  corn  planting,  when  Wishwee  started  on  his 
journey  mounted  on  the  beautiful  black  horse. 
As  he  was  leaving  the  wigwam  door  his  father 
handed  him  two  bottles  of  wine,  which  his  old 
grandmother  had  made  from  the  juice  of  the 
wild  grapes  she  had  picked  in  the  far  off 
haunted  valley.  After  he  had  traveled  a  long 
way,  beyond  the  farthest  point  ever  reached  by 
the  buffalo  hunters  of  his  tribe,  he  came  to  a 
large  path  called  the  "Difficult  Way,"  and  at 
once  determined  to  see  what  was  at  the  ottier 
end  of  it.  As  he  journeyed  along  this  road  he 
came  suddenly  to  a  rocky  precipice,  which  lay 
straight  across  his  path.  Remembering  what 
his  father  had  said,  he  gave  his  horse  only  one 
cut  with  the  whip,  and  he  scaled  the  perpendi- 
cular height  with  a  bound  and  stood  on  the 
other  side.  Here  he  espied  an  old  woman,  who 
just  then  was  cleaning  some  deer  skins  beside 
Ler  lodge.  As  he  was  passing,  she  called  to  him 
and  said,  "My  grand  child,  though  thou  be  on 
a  journey  and  in  haste,  come  into  my  wigwam 
and  partake  of  a  little  food  and  then  pass  on." 
"Yes,  grandmother,"  answered  Wishwee,  "I  am 
very  glad  of  thy  invitation,  for  I  am  very 
hungry."  So  he  alighted  from  his  horse  and 
supped  with  her.  When  he  was  about  to  de- 
part, the  old  woman  asked  him  "Whither  art 
thou  going,  my  grandchild?"  Wishwee  an- 
swered, "Grandmother  I  have  grown  up  without 
seeing  other  lands,  and  other  people,  and  now 
I  go  out  into  the  world  to  seek  my  fortune." 
Whereupon  she  replied,   "Well  hast  thou   done. 


my  gTandchild,  but  this  road  thou  hast  taken 
ii3  well  named  the  'Difficult  Way,'  so  be  wise, 
my  son,  and  heed  the  advice  thou  shalt  receive 
on  thy  journey."  So  Wishwee  proceeded  on  his 
way.  After  he  had  gone  some  distance  he  came 
suddenly  to  a  great  slough,  so  vast,  he  could 
not  see  across  it,  and  so  miry,  a  waterfowl 
could  not  wade  in  it.  Along  the  edge  of  this 
slough  were  strewn  thick  the  bones  of  horses 
and  their  riders,  who  had  attempted  to  pass 
through  it.  It  was  called  the  We  We  Tanka, 
The  Bad  Swamp.  Wishwee  paused  for  a  time 
perplexed,  but  finding  no  way  to  pass  around 
this  terrible  slough,  he  headed  his  horse  straight 
for  its  midst,  and  gave  him  one  blow  with  his 
whip.  Swift  as  the  wind,  with  mighty  bounds 
that  scarce  touched  the  surface  once,  the  noble 
animal  carried  his  rider  safely  over  the  im- 
passable swamp.  On  the  farther  side  our  trav- 
eler found  an  old  man,  who  called  to  him  to 
pause  a  few  minutes  and  sup  at  his  lodge.  After 
they  had  eaten  together  the  young  man  said  to 
his  host,  "Grandfather,  thou  hast  made  me  very 
happy  by  inviting  me  to  dine  with  thee.  Wilt 
thou  not  partake  of  a  drop  of  this  wine  I  have?" 
and  he  handed  him  one  of  the  bottles  his  father 
had  given  him.  After  the  old  man  had  drank 
tv/ice  of  the  wine,  he  became  very  talkative,  and 
he  told  the  young  man  all  his  secrets.  "My 
fron,"  said  he,  "When  thou  goest  hence  thou 
wilt  soon  come  to  the  Hill  Beautiful.  From 
the  moment  that  comest  in  sight  hasten  thy 
horse  with  all  speed  and  beware  that  thou  dost 
not  stop  or  look  behind  thee  until  thou  hast 
reached  the  summit  for  if  thou  tarriest  or 
lookest  behind  thee  a  single  instant  before  ar- 
riving on  the  summit,  then  thou  will  surely  die, 
but  after  the  highest  point  is  attained,  thou 
mayest  check  thy  speed   and  look  behind." 

Thus  spake  the  old  man  and  the  young  man 
again  proceeded  on  his  way.  After  some  time 
the  top  of  the  Hill  Beautiful  loomed  up  in  the 
distance.  The  moment  Wishwee  saw  it  he  gave 
his  horse  one  cut  with  his  whip  and  sped  along 
the  road  like  the-  wind.  Soon  he  heard  some- 
one coming  behind  and  tempting  him  to  look 
back,  but  he  remembered  the  old  man's  advice 
and  hurried  on  faster  than  ever.  Then  the 
tempter  began   to   taunt   and  tease   him   saying, 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


13 


"See  this  young  man  is  blind  in  one  eye. 
Look,  one  of  his  legs  is  shorter  than  the  other. 
His  mouth,  too,  is  twisted."  Though  greatly 
exasperated  by  these  words  the  young  man 
checked  himself  and  pressed  on  with  the  ut- 
most speed  with  his  eye  fixed  on  the  top  of 
the  hill  straight  before  him.  Gaining  tire  sum- 
mit at  last  he  reined  in  his  horse  and  looked 
behind.  There  in  the  road  panting  for  breath 
stood  the  largest  and  most  fierce  mountain  lion 
he  had  ever  seen.  Almost  dead  with  running 
the  lion  came  and  lay  down  near  Wishwee  and 
said:  "Young  man,  thou  art  very  wise  and 
brave,  and  hast  arrived  at  the  top  of  Hill 
Beautiful  without  looking  back,  and  thereby  thou 
hast  overcome  me,  and  henceforth  I  am  at  thy 
service.  On  the  road  thou  are  traveling  there 
is  another  hill  called  the  High  Hill. 

"AATien  it  comes  in  sight  beware  that  thou 
dost  not  look  behind  before  reaching  its  summit, 
for  the  moment  thou  dost,  thou  shall  surely  die, 
but  when  thou  hast  come  to  the  top  thou  may- 
est  look  behind.'' 

The  young  man  had  not  gone  very  far  when 
in  the  distance  he  perceived  the  top  of  the  High 
Hill.  Immediately  he  gave  liis  horse  one  cut 
M'ith  his  whip  and  he  darted  forward  like  an 
arrow,  but  soon  again  from  behind  came  the 
shouts  of  someone  following  making  all  manner 
of  noise,  and  calling  him  all  manner  of  names  to 
induce  him  to  look  back,  but  he  had  a  firm  pur- 
pose and  heeded  not  the  voice  of  his  pursuer. 
When  the  top  of  the  mountain  was  reached  a 
monster  white  wolf,  the  fiercest  Wisliwce  had 
ever  seen,  came  panting  and  lay  down  by  his 
side  saying:  "Thou  hast  conquered  me,  and 
henceforth  my  powers  are  thy  powers."  IFore- 
over  the  Big  Wolf  said:  "Before  thou  reachest 
the  place  which  thou  art  going  to  another  moun- 
tain must  be  passed  called  the  "Last  Moun- 
tain," when  it  comes  in  sight  then  hurry  on  as 
fast  as  thy  horse  can  carry  thee,  but  beware  on 
the  penalty  of  thy  life  that  thou  doest  not  look 
behind,  until  the  summit  is  reached."  So  the 
young  man  pressed  forward  on  his  journey.  He 
had  not  gone  far  before  the  top  of  Last  Moun- 
tain came  into  sight  and  quickly  he  struck  his 
liorse  one  blow  with  his  whip  and  off  he  flew 
lilce  a  fla-sh  of  lightning.     Soon  he  heard  some 


one  following  close  behind  him  again,  calling  to 
him  to  stop  and  look  at  the  wonderful  things 
in  his  rear.  Becoming  desperate,  his  pursuer 
taunted  him  as  being  a  coward,  but  Wishwee 
was  fixed  in  his  purpose,  and  no  blandishment, 
curiosity  or  fear  could  turn  him  aside  until  the 
top  of  the  mountain  's\'as  reached,  when  a  great 
eagle  fell  at  his  feet  exhausted  crying,  "Thou 
hast  gained  tlie  victory  over  me,  henceforth  my 
powers  are  thy  powers."  Furthermore  the  great 
eagle  said,  "^Mien  thou  hast  gone  hence  on  thy 
A\-ay  thou  \\-ilt  come  to  a  large  town  called  the 
'A'illage  of  Weeping.'  In  that  town  somethings 
Avill  befall  thee.  At  tlie  entrance  of  the  village 
lives  an  old  woman  and  thou  must  go  to  her 
teepee  and  it  will  be  told  thee  what  has  be- 
fallen the  town." 

After  journeying  some  distance  the  young 
man  arrived  at  the  Big  Village.  The  inhabi- 
tants of  which  neither  laugh  or  make  merry, 
and  the  faces  of  all  are  painted  black.  For  a 
time  Wishwee  paused  at  the  entrance  of  the  vil- 
lage gazing  in  amazement  at  its  sad  appear- 
ance, then  noticing  an  old  woman  standing  by 
the  door  of  lier  wigwam  nearby  he  approached 
her  and  inquired,  "Grandmother,  why  is  it  that 
in  til  is  great  village  everybody  looks  so  sorrow- 
ful?"' "My  son,"  answered  the  old  woman,  "Art 
tliou  a  mere  stranger  and  has  not  heard  of 
the  terrible  thing  which  has  happened  here? 
1'he  chief  of  this  village  has  four  fair  daugh- 
ters, but  yesterday  about  noon  one  who  is  called 
'Xo  Soul'  made  a  sudden  raid  upon  this  place 
and  carried  away  two  of  the  maidens.  It  is  on 
this   account  that  the  people   are   all   so  sad." 

"Grandmother,"  asked  the  young  man,  "did'st 
til  on  see  this  No  Soul?"  "Yes,  my  son,"  re- 
plied the  old  woman,  "he  has  the  form  of  a  very 
gi-eat  grizzley  bear.  From  the  time  the  world 
was  made  no  one  has  been  able  to  kill  this  bear, 
and  indeed  he  can  not  be  killed,  and  hence  he 
is  called  No  Soul."  "Where  doth  he  live?" 
cp.eried  the  young  man.  "He  lives."  said  the 
old  woman,  "a  long,  ways  from  here  in  a-  big 
ii:ountain.  He  said  moreover,  that  in  six  days 
he  would  return  and  carry  off  the  chiefs  other 
two  daughters.  Wherefore  the  chief  is  very 
much  alarmed  and  has  said  to  his  people,  who- 
ever kills  No  Soul,  shall  have  both  my  remain- 


14 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


iug  daughters  for  wives,  and  many  a  brave  vrar- 
rior  has  placed  himselJ;  in  readiness  to  fight  the 
monster   when   he   returns." 

When  the  young  man  heard  this  his  heart 
was  stirred  within  him,  and  he  asked  the  old 
woman  to  take  good  care  of  his  horse  as  he 
must  go  and  see  the  chief.  He  found  the  old 
chief  stretched  upon  the  floor  of  his  teepee, 
sorely  lamenting  the  fate  of  his  daughters. 
Wishwee  told  him  not  to  weep  and  that  he 
would  see  him  again  in  twelve  days.  The  young 
man  then  immediately  departed  in  quest  of  the 
mountain  where  No  Soul  lived.  Arriving  there 
he  found  a  v^ry  large  cave,  standing  at  its 
mouth  he  called :  "No  Soul,  have  mercy  upon 
me,  I  have  come  to  see  your  house  which  I 
hear  is  finely  constructed."  Whereupon  a  very 
large  and  fierce  looking  bear  came  rushing  out 
and  with  a  growl  like  the  rumble  of  distant 
thunder  he  said :  "Wonderful  this ;  no  one  dared 
ever  before  to  come  near  my  house  and  such  an 
example  will  I  make  of  thee  that  no  one  will 
ever  venture  here  again.'' 

"Stay  a  moment  No  Soul,"  said  Wishwee, 
"I  understand  you  are  fond  of  wine.  I  have 
some  very  choice  vintage  with  me.  Ere  we 
engage  in  combat  let  us  drink  a  little  to  make 
our  hearts  strong,"  and  he  offered  to  No  Soul 
hif;  second  bottle  of  wine.  The  monster  swal- 
lowed it  all  at  one  gulp,  but  no  sooner  had  he 
done  so  than  he  began  to  be  very  communica- 
tive and  he  revealed  the  secret  of  his  life  and 
said :  "If  I  should  be  killed  and  ripped  open 
a  fox  would  leap  out,  and  if  the  fox  should 
be  killed  and  ripped  open  a  bird  would  fly  out, 
and  if  the  bird  be  killed  and  ripped  open,  a 
very  fine  white  egg  would  be  foiind,  and  if  that 
should  be  taken  up  yonder  to  the  brow  of  that 
high  precipice,  a  door  will  be  found  entering 
into  a  vast  golden  chamber,  where  my  real  self 
dwells,  and  should  I  there  be  smitten  on  the 
bi-east  with  the   eg?,  then  would  I  die." 

Then  Wishwee  challenged  No  Soul  to  a  com- 
bat and  he  became  very  furious,  but  the  young 
man  called  to  the  great  mountain  lion,  whom 
he  had  met  on  the  Hill  Beautiful,  and  im- 
mediately he  was  transformed  into  the  great  lion 


and  fought  with  No  Soul  and  overcame  him 
and  with  his  powerful  claws  he  ripped  him  open. 
Immediately  a  fox  leaped  out  and  disappeared 
in  the  brush,  but  Wishwee  called  upon  the  big 
white  wolf  of  the  High  Hill,  and  he  was  at 
once  changed  to  his  form  and  pursued  the  fox 
and  overtaking  him  slew  him.  When  he  had 
ripped  open  the  fox,  a  bird  suddenly  flew  out 
and  disappeared  quickly  among  the  trees.  Wish- 
wee then  called  to  his  aid  the  great  eagle  of  the 
Last  Hill  and  immediately  v/as  transformed  into 
his  shape.  Sweeping  down  on  his  strong  pin- 
ions be  soon  captured  the  bird,  and  ripping  it 
open  found  the  smooth  white  egg. 

Taking  the  egg  he  mounted  to  the  brow  of 
the  high  clifE  and  found  the  entrance  to  the 
home  of  No  Soul.  Inside  he  found  the  monster 
stretched  upon  the  floor  of  his  golden  chamber 
in  much  distress  and  smote  him  at  once  upon  the 
breast  with  the  white  egg.  No  Soul  imme- 
diately rolled  over  dead.  Hearing  a  moaning 
noise  in  a  distant  recess  of  the  cave,  he  fol- 
lowed it,  and  there  bound  and  shut  into  a  dark 
hole  he  found  the  chief's  two  daughters  still 
alive,  reserved  for  a  great  feast  No  Soul  ex- 
pected to  hold  that  very  night.  The  joy  of  the 
maidens  at  their  unexpected  deliverance  was 
Fiost  affecting.  Bearing  them  one  at  a  time 
on  his  eagle  wings,  our  hero  descended  to  the 
foot  of  the  high  cliff  and  thereupon  assumed  his 
own  form. 

Boundless  was  the  rejoicing  at  the  old  chief's 
-pillage  when  Wishwee  arrived  with  the  rescued 
maidens.  In  accordance  with  his  jKomise  the 
chief  offered  the  young  man  his  four  daugh- 
ters for  his  wives,  and  they  were  all  yery  beau- 
tiful, but  Wishwee  said  he  only  wanted  the 
youngest,  Wehakay,  for  she  far  excelled  the  other 
tliree,  and  the  hearts  of  the  two  young  people 
had  been  united  from  the  first.  When  the  mar- 
riage festivities,  which  were  most  joyous  and 
elaborate  were  over,  Wishwee  returned  home 
with  his  beautiful  bride  to  the  lovely  valley  of 
the  Minnesota,  to  the  pleasant  hunting  gfound 
cf  his  fathers,  where  among  their  many  descen- 
dants the  memory  of  Wishwee's  bravery  and 
Wehakay's    charms   will   never   be   forgotten. 


MANKATO   IN   1866. 


CHAPTER  III. 

FRElSrCH    EXPLOREES— LE    SUEUE    AXD 

HIS    COPPEE    DISCOVEEY— 

INDIAX  WAES. 


The  French  were  probably  the  first  white  men 
tci  set  foot  on  Blue  Earth  Countj^  soil.  Which 
one  of  them  had  the  first  honor  is  unknown, 
some  think  that  the  French  hunters  and  traders, 
Groseilliers  and  Eadisson,  visited  this  locality  in 
I'iGO.  The  French  fur  trade  of  that  early 
period  had  many  daring  spirits,  whose  wonder- 
ful stories  of  adventure  and  disco^'ery  were 
never  written,  and  it  may  be  one  of  these  un- 
known heroes  was  the  first  to  view  the  country 
of  the  ]\rahkato. 

The  first  known  to  ha^•e  come  to  the  region 
now'  embraced  in  Blue  Earth  County  were  Le 
Sueur  and  Ins  followers,  who  arrived  here  in 
September,  1700.  Pierre  Charles  Le  Sueur  had 
come  into  the  present  boundaries  of  ^Minnesota 
r.s  early  as  1683  at  least,  and  had  spent  seven 
j-ears  at  various  times  hunting  and  trading 
among  the  Sioux.  We  know  that  he  then  spent 
part  of  the  time  with  Perrot  in  the  vicinity  of 
Lake  Pepin.  We  also  know  that  during  this 
visit  among  the  Sioux,  he  discovered  the  bed  of 
gTcen  clay,  found  upon  the  Blue  Earth'  river, 
about  a  mile  above  the  mouth  of  the  Le  Sueur, 
and  that  he  took  a  sample  of  it  with  him  to 
France,  where  it  was  assayed  in  1696  bv  Le 
Huillier,  one  of  the  king's  officers,  and  evi- 
dently pronounced  to  be  copper.  Whether  Le 
Sueur  had  personally  inspected  this  bed  of  clay, 
and  selected  the  sample  himself  before  he  took 
it  to  France  is  not  certain.  The  probability, 
however,  is  that  he  had,  but  it  may  be,  as  stated 
by  some  that  he  obtained  his  sample  and  in- 
formation as  to  the  extent  and  location  of  the 
bed  or  mine  from  which  it  had  been  taken,  from 
an  Indian,  who  carried  lumps  of  the  green  sub- 
stance in  his  medicine  bag. 

In  the  summer  of  160,5   Le   Sueur  had  taken 


a  Sioux  chief,  named  Tioscate  with  him  from 
]i!innesota  to  Canada,  who  was  the  first  of  that 
nation  to  see  a  civilized  country.  There  is  rea- 
son to  believe  that  Tioseate's  home  was  at  the 
moutli  of  the  Blue  Earth,  as  his  relatives  were 
found  there  in  large  numbers  five  or  six  years 
later.  This  indicates  that  Le  Sueur  was  then 
personally  Jamiliar  with  the  Blue  Earth  coun- 
t]-v  and  the  people  who  dwelt  there.  Perhaps 
his  object  in  taking  the  chief  with  him  to  Can- 
ada was  to  cultivate  his  friendship,  with  a  view 
to  the  advantage  such  a  friendly  relation  would 
mean,  when  he  came  to  open  his  mine.  The  un- 
fortunate young  chief,  however,  sickened  and 
died  after  a  few  days  at  Montreal. 

Confirmed  by  Le  Huilliers  tests  in  his  be- 
lief that  he  had  discovered  a  very  valuable  cop- 
])vr  mine,  Le  Sneur  became  enthusiastically  in- 
sistant  to  develop  his  rich  find.  Through  the 
aid  of  relatives,  who  had  much  influence  at 
cf  urt,  he  finally  secured  a  commission  to  work 
the  mines  in  1696,  While  crossing  the  ocean, 
the  vessel  in  Avhich  he  sailed  was  captured  by 
the  English  and  he  with  the  rest  of  the  crew 
were  carried  prisoners  to  England.  On  his  re- 
lease and  return  to  France  he  secured  in  1696 
a  second  commission  to  work  the  Blue  Earth 
mines,  but  was  deterred  by  various  obstacles 
from  carrying  out  his  project  until  1700.  Prom 
a  letter  written  August  30th,  1703,  by  La  Motte 
Cadillac,  in  command  of  the  French  post  at 
Detroit,  we  learn  that  not  the  ,  least  of  these 
obstacles  was  due  to  the  disturbed  relations,  then 
existing  between  the  Sioux  and  their  old  ene- 
mies the  Sacs  and  Foxes  of  Wisconsin.  The 
latter  had  been  in  alliance  with  the  French  for 
many  years  and  furnished  them  with  a  very 
lucrative    trade.      With    the    fire    arms    obtained 


15 


16 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


from  the  traders,  the  Foxes  and  their  allies  had 
guined  a  great  advantage  over  their  foe,  which 
advantage   they   were   anxious  to    retain. 

Some  of  the  French  traders  were  beginning 
to  discover  how  rich  the  Sioux  country  was, 
especially  in  beaver  and  bufEalo,  and  were  anx- 
ious to  open  trade  with  them.  The  Foxes  and 
their  allies,  however,  were  much  opposed  to  such 
a  project  as  it  would  furnish  their  enemies 
with  firearms,  and  all  the  other  superior  weapons 
and  goods  of  the  white  men.  The  French  now 
tried  another  tactic,  and  got  these  ancient  foes 
to  make  a  compact  of  peace.  The  Foxes  and 
their  allies  acted  in  good  faith  in  the  transac- 
tion, but  the  Sioux  made  it  an  opportunity  for 
treachery.  Under  pretense  of  ratifying  the 
treaty  a  large  number  of  the  latter  paid  the 
Foxes  and  Miamis  a  visit  and  were  right  roj^- 
ally  feasted  and  entertained  by  them,  and  it 
seemed  as  though  the  tomahawk  had  really  been 
buried.  The  Sioux  then  left  for  home  appar- 
ently well  satisfied  with  the  good  treatment 
they  -had  received.  Thinking  now  that  there 
were  no  foes  to  dread,  and  supposing  that  their 
visitors  were  well  towards  home,  the  principal 
village  of  the  Miamis  was  resting  heedless  of 
any  danger,  when  the  perfidious  Sioux,  having 
str'althily  returned  at  night,  fell  upon  them  sud- 
denly at  day  break  and  killed  three  thousand  of 
them.  This  great  slaughter  and  outrageous 
treachery  made  the  Poxes  and  all  their  allies 
furious  in  their  rage,  and  a  war  of  extermina- 
tion against  the  whole  Sioux  nation  was  inau- 
gurated. The  French  authorities  could  not  af- 
ford the  ill  will  of  the  Wisconsin  Indians, 
among  whom  most  of  their  trading  posts  were 
located,  nor  the  loss  of  prestige,  which  the 
ccuntenancing  of  such  perfidy  would  invite,  and 
hence  they  were  obliged  to  forbid  any  trade  with 
the  Sioux  under  heavy  penalties.  But  the  trad- 
ers, who  roamed  through  these  remote  regions, 
paid  but  indifferent  attention  to  any  official 
order,  and  continued  to  traffic  with  the  Dakota 
tribes  along  the  Mississippi  and  Minnesota. 
This  involved  them  in  trouble  with  the  Foxes, 
Miamis  and  other  enemies  of  the  Sioux,  and 
robberies  and  hostilities  were  frequent.  These 
events  occurred  just  about  the  time  Le  Sueur 
first   obtained  his   commission  to  work  his  Blue 


Earth  copper  mine,  and  helps  to  explain  some 
of  the  difficulties  and  dangers  he  met.  Le 
Sueur  finally  reached  Biloxi  near  the  mouth 
of  the  Mississippi  with  thirty  miners  in  De- 
cember, 1699,  and  started  up  the  Father  of 
Waters  about  April,  1700.  By  June  of  that 
year  the  expedition  had  reached  Tamarois,  a 
trading  post  a  short  distance  below  the  mouth 
of  the  Missouri.  He  left  this  point  July  12th,. 
in  a  felucca  and  two  canoes  with  nineteen  men, 
mostly  miners.  On  the  way  they  fell  in  with 
various  Canadian  hunters  and  traders,  who 
joined  them  until  by  the  time  they  reached  the 
mouth  of  the  Minnesota,  on  September  19th, 
ihe  expedition  numbered  twenty-eight  persons. 
On  September  30th,  1700,  they  arrived  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  and  ascended  it  t» 
the  mouth  of  the  Le  Sueur,  which  they  named 
the  "St.  Eemi"  or  "St.  Henry."  Here,  on 
the  mound  just  below  the  Jimction  of  the  two 
rivers  they  erected  two  or  three  log  cabins  and 
enclosed  them  with  a  palisade  of  poles.  The 
place  was  called  Port  Le  Huillier  in  honor  of 
the  French  officer,  who  had  assayed  the  sample 
of  green  clay  for  Le  Sueur.  While  the  French 
miners  and  carpenters  were  building  the  fort, 
the  Canadian  hunters,  who  had  joined  the  ex- 
pedition by  the  way,  hunted  the  buffalo  on  the 
adjacent  prairies  and  soon  had  enough  meat 
cured  to   supply  the  garrison   over  winter. 

Penicaut,  a  ship  carpenter,  whom  Le  Sueur 
had  taken  with  him  to  mend  the  boats  and  do 
other  carpenter  work,  states  that  they  killed 
four  hundred  buffaloes,  which  statement  seems 
rather  strong.  Prom  the  same  authority  we 
learn  that  the  winter  was  rather  severe.  To 
persons  who  were  accustomed  to  the  balmy  air 
of  France  and  New  Orleans,  a  Minnesota  winter 
^vould  very  naturally  seem  a  little  bracing.  Then 
we  must  concede  to  Penicaut  the  poetic  license 
due  to  an  old  seaman  recounting  twenty  years 
Inter,  the  marvelous  adventures  he  had  met  in 
a  new  and  far  distant  world.  The  next  spring 
Le  Sueur  took  twelve  of  the  miners  and  four 
hunters  with  him  about  a  mile  and  a  half  up 
the  Blue  Earth  from  the  fort,  to  open  up  what 
he  then  supposed  was  a  copper  mine.  This 
mine  was'  evidently  the  bed  of  green  clay  from 
four    to    ten    inches    thick    still    found    in    the 


HISl'ORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


17 


bluffs  of  the  Blue  Earth  near  the  north  line  of 
section  twenty-eight  of  South  Bend  township. 
The  clay  has  no  copper  in  it,  but  its  peculiar 
bluish  green  color  is  due  to  a  tincture  of  iron. 
In  twenty-two  days  Le  Sueur  had  over  20,000 
pounds  of  it  dug  out,  and  selecting  4,000  pounds 
of  the  best,  he  loaded  this  into  his  shallop  and 
carried  it  to  the  fort  at  the  mouth  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi. What  became  of  it  afterwards  is  not 
known.  He  also  carried  with  him  a  very  valu- 
able cargo  of  beaver  and  other  furs,  which  he 
liad  obtained  from  the   Indians. 

Le  Sueur  left  twelve  men  at  Fort  Le  Huillier 
in  charge  of  D'Eraque,  one  of  the  Canadians 
who  had  Joined  his  party.  These  remained  at 
the  fort  until  the  spring  of  1703,  when  a  war 
party  of  the  Foxes  and  Maskontens,  then  at  bit- 
ter enmity  with  the  Sioux  and  therefore  opposed 
to  the  establishment  of  this  fort,  as  we  have 
seen,  made  some  hostile  demonstration  in  its 
vicinity,  and  caused  its  rather  sudden  evacua- 
tion. Penicaut,  who  had  left  the  spring  be- 
fore with  Le  Sueur  and  hence  was  not  personally 
present  and  probably  did  not  know  the  partic- 
ulars connected  with  the  abandonment  of  the 
fort  simply  states  that  in  the  spring  of  1703, 
"D'Eraque  and  his  twelve  comrades  had  re- 
turned to  Mobile  and  reported  that  they  had 
been  attacked  by  a  band  of  Foxes  and  Mas- 
kontens, who  had  killed  three  Frenchmen,  who 
were  working  in  the  woods  about  two  gun  shots 
beyond  the  fort,  and  that  being  out  of  ammuni- 
tion he  had  cached  the  goods  and  abandoned 
the  post."  In  July,  1907,  a  rather  interesting 
discovery  of  seventeen  headless  skeletons  was 
made  on  the  farm  of  one  A.  Mitchell,  in  the 
northeast  quarter  of  the  southeast  quarter  of 
section  thirty-three  of  South  Bend  township. 
The  bodies  had  all  been  laid  out,  white  man's 
fashion  and  buried  two  or  three  feet  deep  in 
dug  graves  on  the  top  of  a  small  natural  mound 
or  knoll.  The  soil  -consisted  of  loam,  gravel 
and  clay.  At  the  northwest  base  of  the  knoll 
lay  a  grassy  swale  of  several  acres.  Originally 
the  knoll  had  been  covered  with  timber  and 
thick  brush,  and  the  forest  continuing  eastward 
from  it  to  the  Le  Sueur.  The  mound  is  sit- 
uated about  a  mile  and  a  half  southwest  of  the 
site  of  old   Ft,  Le  Huillier  and  on  a  very   an- 


cient Indian  trail,  which  led  from  the  Big 
Woods  and  the  ilinnesota  valley,  through  Man- 
kato,  along  the  foot  of  the  Walker  hill,  down 
til  rough  the  Eed  Jacket  valley  and  by  the  site 
of  the  old  fort,  crossing  the  Le  Sueur  just  above 
its  mouth,  and  passing  up  the  opposite  bluff 
followed  in  a  southwesterly  course  the  dryest 
land  by  the  knoll  in  question  and  emerging 
from  the  timber  a  short  distance  beyond.  Thence 
it  continued  in  southwesterly  course  over  the 
Blue  Earth,  Watonwan,  and  the  boundless  prai- 
ries to  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Sioux  river.  The 
burial  must  have  occurred  long  before  the  ad- 
vent of  the  white  settlers  in  1853,  as  all  traces 
of  the  graves  had  been  obliterated.  The  In- 
dians of  the  locality,  also,  must  have  forgotten 
their  existence,  as  they  made  no  mention  of 
them  to  anyone.  All  of  which  indicates  that 
the  tragedy  connected  with  those  bones  was  very 
ancient. 

The  headless  conditions  of  the  skeletons  and 
the  two  flint  arrow  heads  with  broken  tips 
found  with  the  bones,  point  quite  conclusively 
to  Indians  as  the  authors  of  the  bloody  deed. 
The  laying  out  of  the  bodies  and  their  burial 
in  dug  gro/ves  is  fully  as  conclusive  evidence, 
tliat  the  interment  was  the  work  of  white  men. 
The  Indians  never  buried  in  this  manner  and 
had  no  implements  for  the  purpose.  Prior  to 
the  advent  of  the  white  settlers  there  were  no 
white  persons  in  this  locality,  except  the  French 
occupants  of  Ft.  Le  Hviillier.  History  states 
that  during  the  occupation  of  this  fort  a  most 
hitter  warfare  was  in  progress  between  the  Foxes 
and  their  allies  and  the  Sioux  and  that  in  the 
spring  of  1703  the  former  made  a  hostile  raid 
to  the  vicinity  of  the  Fort  and  that  they  killed 
three  French  men,  but  how  many  of  their 
Sioux  foes,   if   any,  they  killed   is  not  stated. 

From  these  and  other  known  data,  it  is 
quite  probable  that  the  tragedy  connected  with 
the  skeletons  found  on  the  Mitchell  farm  dates 
b;ick  to  the  spring  of  1703.  The  only  conclu- 
sion, which  fits  all  the  facts  is  that  at  that  time 
a  large  war  party  of  the  Foxes  and  their  allies 
crossed  the  Mississippi  and  following  the  us- 
ually deserted  prairies  south  of  the  Big  Woods, 
stole  up  unobserved  to  the  neighborhood  of  Ft. 
Le   Huillier,  with  intent  to  wreak  vengeance  on 


18 


PIISTOKY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


their  old  enemies,  tlie  Sioux,  and  at  the  same 
time  brealc  up  tlie  fort,-  which  was  affording 
their  foe  the  benefits  of  trade  with  the  whites. 

Taking  advantage  of  the  mound  now  on  the 
Jlitcliell  farm  with  its  thick  In-usli  and  timber 
and  the  grassy  swale  beside  it,  they  made  here 
an  ambush  on  the  old  well  beaten  trail,  which 
led  from  the  fort  and  the  Minnesota  valley  to 
the  great  j^outhwcs^t.  In  due  time  a  long,  lino 
of  Dakota  braves  accompanied  by  some  of  the 
voyao-ers  attached  to  the  traders  at  the  fort, 
came  winding  their  way  along  the  path.  As 
they  were  passing  over  the  mound  the  silence 
was  suddenly  broken  by  blood  curdling  war 
whoops,  liursting  from  a  liundred  savage  throats, 
and  a  deadly  shower  of  arrows,  mingled  with 
a  few  bullets,  smote  them  from  every  side  and 
seventeen,  jDerhaps  more,  fell  in  the  trail.  The 
rest  fled  through  the  woods  in  dismay  back  to 
the  fort.  It  took  the  Foxes  but  a  few  moments 
to  rush  upon  the  fallen  victims  and  with  their 
sharp  knives  cut  off  their  heads  to  carry  back 
to  their  Wisconsin  villages  as  gorey  and  ghastly 
ti'ophies  for  the  scalp  dance.  The  news  of 
the  terrible  tragedy  soon  reached  the  fort  and 
caused  the  wildest  excitement.  Armed  with 
their  guns  a  portion  of  the  garrison  went  out 
to  view  the  scene  of  the  carnage.  Prompted  by 
dictates  of  humanity  and  of  their  religion,  the 
miners,  who  had  but  recently  come  from  civil- 
heA  Prance,  procured  their  picks  and  shovels 
a  ad  buried  the  bodies.  The  Indians  were  hu- 
man beings  and  the  French  doubtless  had  known 
most  of  the  dead  intimately  for  nearly  two  years 
and  it  behooved  them  to  give  their  red  friends 
the  rite  of  a  christian  burial  at  least.  Then 
if  among  the  slain  were  three  French  voyagers, 
it  gave  an  added-  reason  for  the  burial.  Terrified 
by  this  bloody  massacre  and  having  but  little 
ammunition,  the  garrison  at  once  cached  what 
goods  they  could  not  carry  and  evacuated  the 
fort,  passing  hastily  down  the  river  to  Mobile. 

The  adventures  of  these  first  white  settlers  in 
Blue  Earth  County  over  two  hundred  years  ago 
are  full  of  interest.  Our  information  is  derived 
fj'om  two  main  sources.  One  being  the  extracts 
copied  from  the  Journal  of  Le  Sueur,  the  leader 
of  the  expedition,  by  Bernard  de  le  Harpe  in  his 
"History  of  Louisiana."    Le  Harpe  was  a  French 


oifieer,  who  about  two  hundred  )ears  ago  wrote 
a  liistory  of  the  old  French  province  of  Louisana 
in  which  Blue  Earth  County  was  then  situated. 
It  was  \\ritten  in  French  and  remained  unpub- 
lished for  over  a  hundred  years.  Unfortunately 
the  Journal  of  Le  Sueur,  from  which  these  ex- 
tracts were  taken,  has  been  lost.  Our  other 
source  of  information  is  a  little  French  book 
entitled  "The  Eelation  of  Penicaut.''  As  we 
stated  before  Penicaut  was  a  shipwright,  who 
accompanied  Le  Sueur  on  his  expedition  to  the 
Blue  Earth.  He  remained  at  Ft.  Le  Huillier 
only  one  winter  and  then  returned  to  the  Lower 
ilississippi.  Twenty  years  later  he  visited  France 
tn  receive  medical  treatment  for  his  eyes.  While 
these  stories  of  his  adventures  in  the  new  world 
excited  so  much  interest,  that  they  were  re- 
duced to  writing  at  Ms  dictation,  the  manu- 
script remained  at  Paris  unpublished  for  one 
hundred  and  fifty  years,  but  in  1869  it  was 
bought  by  ilr.  SpofEord,  librarian  of  Congress, 
and  printed  in  a  small  volume.  The  portion  of 
Penicaut's  book  relating  to  Le  Sueur's  expedition 
to  the  Blue  Earth  we  will  give  entire. 

PENICAUT   NAEEATIA^E. 

Having  ascended  the  St.  Peter  (Minnesota) 
river  forty  leagaies  and  finding  another  river 
on  the  left  falling  into  it  he  continues,  "We  call- 
ed this  Green  River,  because  it  is  of  that  color 
by  reason  of  a  green  earth,  which  loosening  itself 
fiom  the  copper  mines,  becomes  dissolved  in  it 
and  makes  it  green.  A  league  up  this  river  we 
found  a  point  of  land  a  quarter  of  a  league  dis- 
tant from  the  woods,  and  it  was  upon  this  point 
that  M.  Le  Sueur  resolved  to  build  his  fort, 
because  we  could  not  go  any  higher  on  account 
of  the  ice,  it  being  the  last  day  of  September, 
when  winter,  -which  is  very  severe  in  that  counti-y, 
has  already  begun.  Half  of  our  people  went 
hunting,  whilst  the  others  Morked  on  the  fort.  Wc 
killed  four  hundred  bufEaloes,  which  were  our  pro- 
\isions  for  the  ^vinter,  and  which  we  placed  upon 
scaft'olds  in  our  fort,  after  having  skinned  and 
cleaned  and  then  quartered  them.  We  also  made 
cabins  in  the  fort,  and  a  magazine  to  keep  our 
goods.  After  having  drawn  up  ottr  shallop  with- 
in the  inclosure  of  the  fort,  we  spent  the  winter 
in   our   cabins, 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUATTY. 


19 


When  we  were  working  on  our  fort,  in  the 
beginning,  seven  Fi-eneh  traders  of  Canada  took 
refuge  there.  They  had  been  pillaged  and  strip- 
ped naked  by  the  Sioux,  a  wandering  nation 
living  only  by  hunting  and  rapine.  Amongst 
these  seven  persons  there  was  a  Canadian  gen- 
tlemen of  M.  Le  Sueur's  acquaintance,  whom 
he  recognized  at  once  and  gave  him  some 
clothes,  as  he  did  also  to  all  the  rest,  and 
whate%'er  else  was  necessary  for  them.  They  re- 
iriained  with  us  during  the  entire  winter  at 
our  fort,  where  we  had  not  food  enough 
for  all,  except  the  flesh  of  our  buffaloes,  which 
we  had  not  even  salt  to  eat  with.  We  had  a  good 
deal  of  trouble  the  first  two  A\'eeks  in  getting 
used  to  it,  having  diarrhoea  and  fever,  and  being 
so  tired  of  it  that  we  hated  the  very  smell.  But 
little  by  little  our  bodies  got  adapted  to  it, 
so  well  that  at  the  end  of  six  weeks  there  was 
not  one  of  us  that  could  not  eat  six  pounds  of 
meat  a  day  and  drink  four  bowls  of  the  broth. 
As  soon  as  we  were  accustomed  to  this  kind  of 
living  it  made  us  very  fat,  and  there  was  then 
no  more  sickness  amongst  us. 

When  spring  arrived  we  went  to  work  on 
the  copper  mine.  This  was  in  the  beginning  of 
April  of  this  year,  (1701).  We  took  with  us 
twelve  laborers  and  four  hunters.  This  mine 
was  situated  about  three  quarters  of  a  league 
from  our  post.  We  took  from  the  mine  in  twen- 
ty-two days  more  than  thirty  thousand  pounds 
weight  of  ore,  of  which  we  only  selected  four 
thousand  pounds,  of  the  finest,  which  M.  Le 
Sueur,  who  was  a  very  good  judge  of  it,  had 
carried  to  the  fort  and  which  has  since  been 
sent  to  France,  though  I  have  not  learned  the 
result. 

This  mine  is  situated  at  the  beginning  of  a 
very  long  mountain  ■\\'hich  is  upon  the  bank  of 
the  river,  so  that  boats  can  go  right  to  the 
mouth  of  the  mine  itself.  At  this  place  is  the 
green  earth,  which  is  a  foot  and  a  half  in  thick- 
ness, and  above  it  is  a  layer  of  earth  as  firm  and 
hard  as  stone,  and  black  and  burnt  like  coal 
by  the  exhalation  from  the  mine.  The  copper 
is  scratched  out  with  a  knife.  There  are  no  trees 
upon  this  mountain.  If  this  mine  is  good  it  will 
make  a  great  trade,  because  the  mountain  con- 
tains more  than  ten  leagues  running  of  the  same 


ground.  It  appears,  according  to  our  observa- 
tions, that  in  the  very  finest  weather  there  is 
continually  a  fog  upon  this  mountain. 

After  twenty-two  days'  work  we  returned  to 
our  fort,  where  the  Sioux,  who  belong  to  the 
nation  of  savages  who  pillaged  the  Canadians 
that  come  there,  brought  us  merchandises  of 
furs.  They  had  more  than  four  hundred  beaver 
robes,  each  robe  being  of  nine  skins  sewed  togeth- 
er. ]\I.  Le  Sueur  purchased  these  and  many 
other  skins  which  he  bargained  for  in  the  week 
he  traded  with  the  savages.  He  made  them 
all  come  and  camp  near  the  fort,  which  they 
consented  to  very  unwillingly;  for  this  nation, 
which  is  very  numerous,  is  always  wandering, 
living  only  by  hunting,  and  when  they  have 
stayed  a  few  days  in  one  place  they  have  to  go 
off  more  than  ten  leagues  from  it  for  game  for 
tlicir  support.  They  have,  however,  a  dwell- 
ing place,  where  they  gather  together  the  natural 
fruits  of  the  country,  which  are  very  different 
from  those  of  the  lower  IMississippi,  as  for  in- 
stance cherries  which  are  in  clusters  like  our 
grapes  of  France,  cranberries  which  are  similar 
to  our  strawberries  but  larger  and  somewhat 
sfjuare  in  shape,  nuts,  cliokeberries,  roots  which 
resemble  our  truffles,  et  cetera.  There  are  also 
more  kinds  of  trees  than  on  the  lower  part  of 
the  river,  as  the  birch,  maple,  plane,  and  cotton- 
wood,  which  last  is  a  tree  that  grows  so  thick 
that  there  are  some  that  are  fifteen  feet  round. 
As  to  the  trees  called  maple  and  plane  it  is 
usual  at  the  beginning  of  ^Farch  to  make  notclies 
in  them,  and  then  placing  tubes  in  the  notches 
cause  the  liquid  to  run  off  into  a  vessel  placed 
below  to  receive  it.^  These  trees  will  flow  in 
abundance  during  three  months,  from  the  begin- 
ning of  IMarch  to  the  end  of  "May.  The  juice  they 
yield  is  very  sweeet.  it  is  boiled  till  it  turns  to 
syrup,  and  if  it  is  boiled  still  more  it  becomes 
brown  sugar. 

The  cold  is  still  severer  in  these  countries 
than  it  is  in  Canada.  During  the  winter  we 
passed  in  our  fort  we  heard  the  trees  exploding 
like  nui^ket  shots,  being  cracked  by  the  rigor  of 
the  cold.  The  ice  is  as  thick  as  there  is  water  in 
the  river,  and  the  snow  is  condensed  in  it.  Bv 
the  month  of  April  all  this  snow  and  ice  lies 
on   the  ground   to  the   depth   of   five   feet,  which 


20 


HISTOlJy   OP  BLUB  EAllTH  COUNTY. 


causes  the  overflowing  of  the  Mississippi  in  the 
spring. 

About  the  beginning  of  winter  in  this  country, 
that  is  to  say  in  the  month  of  September,  the 
bears  climb  trees  that  are  hollow  and  hide  them- 
selves inside,  where  they  remain  from  six  to 
seven  months  without  ever  leaving,  getting  no 
other  nourishment  during  the  winter  than  by 
licking  their  paws.  "When  they  enter  they  are 
extremely  lean,  and  when  they  go  out  they  are 
so  plump  that  they  have  half  a  foot  of  fat  on 
tbem.  It  is  almost  always  in  the  cottonwood 
or  cypress  that  the  bear  hides  himself,  because 
these  trees  are  generally  hollow.  In  hunting 
them  a  tree  is  placed  leaning  against  the  tree 
where  the  bear  is  and  reaching  up  to  the  hole 
by  which  he  entered.  The  hunter  climbs  by  this 
leaning  tree  to  the  other  one,  and  throws  into 
the  hollow  some  pieces  of  dry  wood  all  on  fire, 
which  obliges  the  animal  to  come  out  to  save 
himself  from  being  burned.  Wlien  the  bear 
leaves  the  hole  of  the  tree  he  comes  down 
backwards,  as  a  man  would  do,  and  then  they 
shoot  him.  This  hunting  is  very  dangerous,  for 
though  the  animal  may  be  wounded  sometimes 
by  three  or  four  gun  shots,  he  will  still  fall 
upon  the  first  person  he  meets,  and  with  a 
single  blow  of  his  teeth  and  claws  will  tear 
you  up  in  a  moment.  There  are  some  as  large 
as  carriage  horses,  so  strong  that  they  can 
easily  break  a  tree  as  thick  as  one's  thigh.  The 
nation  of  the  Sioux  hunt  them  very  much, 
using  them  for  food  and  trading  their  skins 
with  the  French  Canadians.  We  sell  in  return 
wares  which  come  very  dear  to  the  buyers,  es- 
pecially tobacco  from  Brazil  in  the  proportion 
of  a  hundred  crowns  to  the  pound,  two  little 
horn  handled  knives  or  four  leaden  bullets  are 
equal  to  ten  crowns  in  exchange  for  their  mer- 
chandises of  skins  and  so  with  the  rest. 

In  the  beginning  of  May  we  launched  our  shal- 
lop in  the  water  and  loaded  it  with  this  green 
earth  that  had  been  taken  out  of  the  mines 
and  with  the  furs  we  had  traded  for,  of  which 
we  brought  away  three  canoes  full.  M.  Le 
Sueur,  before  going,  held  council  with  Mr. 
D'Eraque  the  Canadian  gentleman,  and  the  three 
great  chiefs  of  the  Sioux,  three  brothers,  and 
told  them  that  as  he  had  to  return  to  the  sea  he 


desired  them  to  live  in  peac«  with  M.  D'Eraque, 
whom  he  left  in  command  of  Fort  L'Huillier, 
with  twelve  Frenchmen.  M.  Le  Sueur  made  a 
considerable  present  to  the  three  brothers,  chiefs 
of  the  savages,  desiring  them  never  to  abandon 
the  French.  After  this  we,  the  twelve  men  whom 
he  had  chosen  to  go  down  to  the  sea  with  'him 
embarked.  In  setting  out  M.  Le  Sueur  promised 
to  M.  D'Eraque  and  the  twelve  Frenchmen,  who 
remained  with  him  to  guard  the  fort,  to  send  up 
munitions  of  war  from  the  Illinois  county  as 
soon  as  he  should  arrive  there;  and  which  he  did, 
for  on  getting  there  he  sent  off  to  him  a  canoe 
loaded  with  two  thousand  pounds  of  lead  and 
powder,  with  three  of  our  people  in  charge  of  it. 

In  this  same  time  il.  D'Iberville  had  sent  a 
boat  laden  with  munitions  of  war  and  provisions, 
to  M.  de  St.  Denie,  commanding  the  fort  on  the 
bank  of  the  Mississippi.  They  found  there 
i\I.  D'Eraque,  who  had  arrived  with  the  twelve 
Frenchmen,  who  remained  with  him  at  fort 
L'Huillier.  He  came  shortly  after  in  the  same 
boat  to  Mobile,  where  M.  D'Iberville,  was,  whom 
he  saluted,  and  reported  to  him  that  M.  Le 
Sueur  having  left  him  at  the  fort  L'Huillier,  had 
promised  him,  in  parting,  to  send  him  from  the 
Illinois  country,  ammunition  and  provisions, 
and  that  having  looked  for  them  a  long  time 
without  hearing  any  news  of  them  he  had  been 
attacked  by  the  nations  of  the  Maskoutins  and 
Poxes,  who  had  killed  three  of  our  Frenchmen 
whilst  they  were  working  in  the  woods  but  two 
gun  shots  beyond  the  fort;  that  when  the  savages 
had  retreated  he  had  been  obliged,  after  having 
concealed  the  merchandises  he  had  remaining, 
and  seeing  that  he  was  out  of  powder  and  lead, 
to  abandon  the  fort  and  descend  with  his  peo- 
ple to  the  sea." 

Because  of  their  special  connection  with  Blue 
Earth  County  we  also  take  from  Le  Harpe's  his- 
tory those  extracts  from  Le  Sueur's  Journal 
which  pertain  to  Ft.  Le  Huillier. 

LE  SUEUE'S  JOUENAL. 

"After  he  entered  into  the  Blue  river,  thus 
named  on  account  of  the  mines  of  blue  earth 
found  at  its  mouth,  he  founded  his  post,  situated 
in    forty-four    degrees,  'thirteen    minutes,    north 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


latitude.  He  met  at  this  place,  nine  Sioux  who 
told  him  that  the  river  belonged  to  the  Sioux 
of  the  west;  the  Ayavios,  (lowas)  and  Otoctatas, 
(Ottoes),  who  lived  a  little  farther  off;  that  it 
was  not  their  custom  to  hunt  on  ground  belong- 
ing to  others,  unless  invited  to  do  so  by  the  own- 
ers, and  that  when  they  would  come  to  the  fort 
to  obtain  provisions,  they  would  be  in  danger 
of  being  killed  in  ascending  or  descending  the 
rivers,  which  were  narrow,  and  that  if  they 
v/ould  show  their  pity,  he  must  establish  himself 
on  the  Mississippi,  near  the  mouth  of  the  St. 
Pierre,  where  the  Ayavois,  the  Otoctatas,  and  the 
other   Sioux  could  go  as  well  as  they. 

Having  finished  their  speech,  they  leaned  over 
the  head  of  Le  Sueur,  according  to  their  custom, 
crying  out.  "Oueachissou  ouaspanimanabo,"  that 
is  to  say,  "Have  pity  upon  us.''  Le  Sueur  had 
forseen  that  the  establishment  of  Blue  riv- 
er would  not  please  the  Sioux  of  the  oast, 
who  were,  so  to  speak,  masters  of  the  other 
Sioux  and  of  the  nations  which  will  be  here- 
after mentioned,  because  they  were  the  first  with 
whom  trade  was  commenced,  and  in  conse- 
quence of  which  they  had  already  quite  a 
number  of  guns. 

As  he  had  not  commenced  his  operations  only 
v/ith  a  view  to  the  trade  of  beavers,  but  also 
to  gain  a  knowledge  of  the  mines,  which  he  had 
pi'eviously  discovered,  he  told  them  he  was  sorry 
that  he  had  not  known  their  intentions  sooner; 
and  that  it  was  just,  since  he  came  expressly  for 
them  that  he  should  establish  himself  on  their 
land,  but  that  the  season  was  too  far  advanced  for 
him  to  return.  He  then  made  them  a  present 
of  powder,  balls  and  knives,  and  an  armful  of 
tobacco,  to  entice  them  to  assemble  as  soon  as 
possible,  near  the  fort  which  he  was  about  to 
construct;  that  when  they  should  be  all  assem- 
bled he  might  tell  them  the  intention  of  the  king, 
their  and  his  sovereign. 

The  Sioux  of  the  west,  according  to  the 
statement  of  the  eastern  Sioux,  have  more  than 
a  thousand  lodges.  They  do  not  use  canoes,  noi 
cultivate  the  earth,  nor  gather  wild  rice.  They 
remain  generally  in  the  prairies,  which  are 
between  .  the  Upper  Mississippi  and  ilissouri 
rivers,  and  live  entirely  by  the  chase.  The 
Sioux  generally   say  they  have  three  souls,   and 


that,  after  death,  that  which  has  done  well  goes 
to  the  warm  country,  and  that  which  has  done 
evil  to  the  cold  regions,  and  the  other  guards 
the  body.  Polygamy  is  common  among  them. 
They  are  very  jealous,  and  sometimes  fiight  in 
duel  for  their  wives.  They  manage  the  bow  ad- 
mirably, and  have  been  seen  several  times  to 
kill  ducks  on  the  wing.  They  make  their  lodges 
of  a  number  of  buffalo  skins  interlaced  and 
sewed,  and  carry  them  wherever  they  go.  They 
are  all  great  smokers,  but  their  manner  of 
smoking  differs  from  that  of  other  Indians. 
There  are  some  Sioux  who  swallow  all  the 
smoke  of  the  tobacco  and  others  who,  after  hav- 
ing kept  it  some  time  in  their  mouth,  cause  it 
to  issue  from,  the  nose.  In  each  lodge  there  are 
usually  two  or  three  men  with  their  families. 

On  the  3d  of  October,  they  received  at  the 
fort  several  Sioux,  among  whom  was  Wahken- 
tape,  chief  of  the  village.  Soon  two  Canadians 
arrived  who  had  been  hunting,  and  had  been 
roblDcd  by  the  Sioux  of  the  east,  who  had  raised 
their  guns  against  the  establishment  which  M. 
Le   Sueur  had  made  on  Blue  River. 

On  the  14th  the  fort  was  finished  and  named 
"Fort  L'Huillier"  and  on  the  22nd  two  Cana- 
dians were  sent  out  to  invite  the  Ayavois  and 
Otoctatas  to  come  and  establish  a  village  near  the 
fort,  because  these  Indians  are  industrious  and 
accustomed  to  cultivate  the  earth,  and  they  hoped 
to  get  provisions  from  them  and  to  make  them 
work  in  the  mines. 

On  the  2ith,  six  Sioux  Oujalespoitons  wished 
to  go  into  the  fort,  but  were  told  that  they  did 
not  receive  men  who  had  killed  Frenchmen. 
This  is  the  term  used  when  they  have  insulted 
them.  The  next  day  they  came  to  the  lodge  of 
IjC  Suettr  to  beg  him  to  have  pity  on  them. 
1'Jiey  wished  according  to  custom,  to  weep  over 
his  head,  and  make  him  a  present  of  packs  of 
beavers,  which  he  refused.  He  told  them  he 
v^'as  surprised  that  people  who  had  robbed  should 
come  to  him;  to  which  they  replied  that  they 
had  heard  it  said  that  two  Frenchmen  had  been 
robbed,  but  none  from  their  village  had  been 
present  at  that  wicked   action. 

Le  Sueur  answered  that  he  knew  it  was  the 
Jlendeoucantons  and  not  the  Oujalespoitons; 
"but,"   continued  he,   "you  are   Sioux;   it  is   the 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


Sioux  who  have  robbed  me,  and  if  I  were  to 
follow  your  manner  of  acting,  I  should  break 
your  heads;  for  is  it  not  true,  that  when  a 
stranger  (it  is  thus  that  they  call  the  Indiana 
who  are  not  Sioux)  has  insulted  a  Sioux, 
Mendeoucanton,  Oujalespoitons  or  others — all 
the  villages — revenge  upon  the  first  one  they 
meet?" 

As  they  had  nothing  to  answer  to  what  he 
said  to  them,  they  wept  and  repeated,  according 
to  custom,  "Ouaechissou,  ouaepanimanabo ;"  Le 
Sueur  told  them  to  cease  crying,  and  added  that 
the  French  had  good  hearts,  and  that  they  had 
come  into  the  country  to  have  pity  on  them. 
At  the  same  time  he  made  them  a  present,  saying 
to  them,  "Carry  back  your  beavers  and  say  to 
all  the  Sioux,  that  they  will  have  from  me  no 
more  powder  or  lead,  and  they  will  no  longer 
smoke  any  long  pipe  until  they  have  made 
satisfaction   for   robbing   the   Frenchmen." 

The  same  day  the  Canadians,  who  had.  been 
sent  off  on  the  32nd,  arrived  without  having 
found  the  road  which  led  to  the  Ayavois  and 
Otoctatas.  On  the  25th  Le  Sueur  went  to  the 
river  with  three  canoes,  which  he  filled  with 
blue  and  green  earth.  It  is  taken  from  the  hills 
near  which  are  very  abundant  mines  of  copper, 
some  of  which  was  worked  at  Paris  in  1696  by 
I/Huillier,  one  of  the  chief  collectors  of  the 
kind.  Stones  were  also  found  there  which  would 
be  curious,  if  worked. 

On  the  9th  of  November,  eight  Mantanton 
Sioux  arrived,  who  had  been  sent  by  their 
chiefs  to  say  that  the  Mendeoueantons  were  still 
at  their  lake  on  the  east  of  the  Mississippi  and 
they  could  not  come  for  a  long  time;  and  that 
for  a  single  village  which  has  no  good  sense, 
the  others  ought  not  to  bear  the  punishment; 
and  that  they  were  willing  to  make  reparation 
if  they  knew  how.  Le  Sueur  replied  that  he 
\7as  glad  that  they  had  a  disposition  to  do  so. 

On  the  15th  the  two  Mantanton  Sioux,  who 
had  been  sent  expressly  to  say  that  all  of  the 
Sioux  of  the  east  and  part  of  those  of  the 
west  were  Joined  together' to  come  to  the  French 
because  they  had  heard  that  the  Christianaux 
and  the  Assinipoils  were  making  war  on  them. 
These  two  nations  dwell  above  the  fort  on  the 


east  side,  more  than  eighty  leagues  on  the  Up- 
per Mississippi. 

The  Assinipoils  speak  Sioux,  and  are  cer- 
tainly of  that  nation.  It  is  only  a  few  years 
since  they  became  enemies.  The  enmity  thus 
originated:  The  Christianaux,  having  the  use 
of  arms  before  the  Sioux,  through  the  English 
at  Hudson's  Bay,  they  constantly  warred  upon 
the  Assinipoils,  who  were  their  nearest  neigh- 
bors. The  latter  being  weak,  sued  for  peace, 
and  to  render  it  more  lasting,  married  the 
Christianaux  women.  The  other  Sioux,  who 
had  not  made  the  compact  continued  to  war; 
and  seeing  some  Christianaux  with  the  Assini- 
poils broke  their  heads.  The  Christianaux  fur- 
nished the  Assinipoils  with  arms  and  merchan- 
dise. 

On  the  16th,  the  Sioux  returned  to  their 
village,  and  it  was  reported  that  the  Ayavois 
and  the  Otoctatas  were  going  to  establish  them- 
selves towards  the  Missouri  river,  near  the 
Maha,  who  dwell  in  that  region.  On  the  26th, 
the  Mantantons  and  Oujalespoitons  arrived  at 
the  fort;  and  after  they  had  encamped  in  the 
woods,  Wahkentape  came  to  beg  Le  Sueur  to 
go  to  his  lodge.  He  there  found  sixteen  men 
v/ith  women  and  children,  with  their  faces 
daubed  with  black.  In  the  middle  of  the  lodge 
^^'ere  several  buffalo  skins,  which  were  sewed 
for  a'  carpet.  After  motioning  him  to  sit  down, 
they  wept  for  the  fourth  of  an  hour,  and  the 
chief  gave  him  some  wild  rice  to  eat,  (as  was 
their  custom)  putting  the  first  three  spoonsful 
to  his  mouth.  After  which,  he  said  all  present 
were  relatives  of  Tioscate,  whom  Le  Sueur  took 
to  Canada  in  1695,  and  who  died  there  in  1696. 

At  the  mention  of  Tioscate  they  began  to 
weep  again,  and  wipe  their  tears  and  heads 
upon  the  shoulders  of  Le  Sueur.  Then  Wah- 
kentape again  spoke,  and  said  that  Tioscate 
begged  him  to  forget  the  insult  done  to  the 
Frenchmen  by  the  Mendeoueantons,  and  take 
pity  on  his  brethren  by  giving  them  powder 
and  balls  whereby  they  could  defend  themselves, 
and  gain  a  living  for  their  wives  and  children, 
who  languished  in  a  country  full  of  game  be- 
cause they  had  not  the  means  of  killing  them. 
"Look,"  added  the  chief,  "Behold  thy  child- 
ren, thy  brethren,  and  thy  sisters;  it  is  to  thee 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


■rA 


to  see  whether  thou  wishest  them  to  die.  They 
will  live  if  thou  givest  them  powder  and  ball; 
they  will  die  if  thou  refusest." 

Le  Sueur  granted  them  their  request,  but  as 
the  Sioux  never  answer  on  the  spot,  especially 
in  matters  of  importance,  he  •  went  out  of  the 
lodge  without  saying  a  word.  The  chief  and 
all  those  within  followed  him  as  far  as  the 
door  of  the  fort;  and  when  he  had  gone  in, 
they  went  around  it  three  times;  crying  with 
all  their  strength,  "Atheouanan"  that  is  to 
say,  "Father,  have  pity  on  us."  (Ate  unyanpi, 
moans  "our  father.'") 

The  next  day  he  assembled  in  the  fort  the 
principal  men  of  both  villages;  and  as  it  is  not 
possible  to  subdue  the  Sioux  or  to  hinder  them 
from  going  to  war,  unless  it  be  by  inducing 
them  to  cultivate  the  earth,  he  said  to  them 
that  if  they  wished  to  render  themselves  worthy 
of  the  protection  of  the  king,  they  must  abandon 
their  errant  life,  and  form  a  village  near  his 
dwelling,  where  they  would  be  shielded  from 
the  insults  of  their  enemies;  and  that  they 
might  be  happy  and  not  hungry,  he  would  give 
them  all  the  corn  necessary  to  plant  a  large 
piece  of  ground;  that  the  king,  their  and  his 
chief,  in  sending  him,  had  forbidden  him  to 
purchase  beaver  skins,  knowing  that  this  kind 
of  hunting  separates  them  and  exposes  them  to 
their  enemies;  and  that  in  consequence  of  this 
he  had  come  to  establish  himself  on  Blue 
river  and  vicinity,  where  they  had  many  times 
assured  him  were  many  kinds  of  beasts,  for 
the  skins  of  which  he  would  give  them  all  things 
necessary;  that  they  ought  to  reflect  that  they 
could  not  do  without  French  goods,  and  that 
the  only  way  not  to  want  them  was,  not  to  go 
to  war  with  our  allied  nations. 

As  it  is  customary  with  the  Indians  to  ac- 
company their  word  with  a  present  proportioned 
to  the  affair  treated  of,  he  gave  them  fifty 
pounds  of  powder,  as  many  balls,  six  guns,  ten 
axes,  twelve  armsfuls  of  tobacco  and  a  hatchet 
pipe. 

On  the  1st  of  December,  the  Mantantons  in- 
vited Le  Sueur  to  a  great  feast.  Of  four  of 
their  lodges  they  had  made  one,   in  which   was 


one  hundred  men  seated  around,  and  every  one 
his  dish  before  him.  After  the  meal,  Wah- 
kentape,  the  chief,  made  them  all  smoke  one 
after  another  in  the  hatchet  pipe  which  had 
been  given  them.  He  then  made  a  present  to 
Le  Sueur  of  a  slave  and  a  sack  of  rice,  and 
said  to  him,  showing  him  his  men:  "Behold 
the  remains  of  this  great  village,  which  thou 
hast  aforetunes  seen  so  numerous!  All  the 
others  have  been  killed  in  war;  and  the  few 
njen  whom  thou  seest  in  this  lodge,  accept 
the  present  thou  hast  made  them,  and  are  re- 
solved to  obey  the  great  chief  of  all  nations, 
of  whom  thou  hast  spoken  to  us.  Thou  ought- 
est  not  to  regard  us  as  Sioux,  but  as  French, 
and  instead  of  saying  the  Sioux  are  miserable, 
and  have  no  mind,  and  are  fit  for  nothing  but 
to  rob  and  steal  from  the  French,  thou  shalt 
say  my  brethren  are  miserable  and  have  no 
mind,  and  we  must  try  to  procure  some  for 
them.  They  rob  us,  but  I  will  take  care  that 
they  do  not  lack  corn,  that  is  to  say,  all  kinds 
of  goods.  If  thou  dost  this  I  assure  thee 
that  in  a  little  time,  the  Mantantons  will  be- 
come Frenchmen,  and  they  will  have  none  of 
tliose    vices   with   which   thou   reproachest   us." 

Having  finished  his  speech,  he  covered  his 
face  with  his  garment,  and  the  others  imitated 
him.  They  wept  over  their  companions  who  had 
died  in  war,  and  chanted  an  adieu  to  their 
country  in  a  tone  so  gloomy  that  one  could  not 
keep   from   partaking  of  their   sorrow. 

Wahkentape  then  made  them  smoke  again, 
and  distributed  the  presents,  and  said  that  he 
was  going  to  the  ilendeoucantons,  to  inform 
them  of  the  resolution,  and  invite  them  to  do 
the  same. 

On  the  12  th,  three  Mendeoucanton  chiefs  and 
a  large  number  of  Indians  of  the  same,  village, 
arrived  at  the  fort,  and  the  next  day  gave  sat- 
isfaction for  robbing  the  Frenchmen.  They 
brought  400  pounds  of  beaver  skins,  and  prom- 
ised that  the  summer  following,  after  their 
canoes  were  built  and  they  had  gathered  their 
wild  rice,  that  they  would  come  and  establish 
themselves  near  the  French.  The  same  day 
tliey  returned  to  their  village  east  of  the  ilis- 
sissippi. 


CHAPTER  IV. 

FEATHERSTONHAUGH      SUMMER'S     EX- 
PEDITION—FIRST   STEAMBOAT   EX- 
CURSION ON  THE  MISSISSIPPI. 


After  the  adventures  of  the  intrepid  Le  Sueur 
a  long  period  of  silence  fell  upon  the  country 
of  the  Blue  Earth.  Doubtless  the  region  was 
occasionally  visited  by  some  of  the  bold  French 
voyagers,  who  swarmed  everywhere  over  the 
northwest  in  those  days  in  the  interest  of  the 
fur  companies,  but  they  have  left  us  no  record. 

Along  toward  the  end  of  the  first  week  in 
December,  1766,  a  venturous  Connecticut  Yan- 
kee, named  Captain  Jonathan  Carver,  bent  on 
an  exploring  tour  of  the  western  wildes,  passed 
up  the  Minnesota,  by  the  mouth  of  the  Blue 
I'^arth,  in  an  Indian  canoe,  with  one  or  two  In- 
dian guides  in  his  company.  How  far  he  as- 
cended the  river  is  not  very  definitely  known. 
Some  think  it  was  to  a  point  opposite  the  mouth 
of  the  Big  Cottonwood.  He  himself  states  in 
his  book  that  the  distance  from  the  mouth  of 
the  Minnesota  to  Carver  river  was  40  miles, 
and  from  there  to  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth 
another  forty  miles,  and  that  the  total  distance 
he  ascended  the  river  was  200  miles.  This 
would  make  the  place  where  he  met  the  large 
camp  of  Indians  with  whom  he  spent  the  win- 
ter, somewhere  between  Granite  Falls  and  Lac 
qui  Parle  on  the  north  bank  of  the  river.  The 
chart  he  drew  indicates  the  spot  to  have  been 
in  that  vicinity  as  well  as  the  number  of  days 
hfc  spent  on  the  Journey.  Though  it  was  the 
?th  of  December  when  he  reached  the  Indian 
village  still  the  river  was  free  of  ice.  Indeed, 
it  seems  to  have  been  a  very  mild  and  open 
wmter.  In  commenting  on  the  weather  Carver 
says,  that  there  was  very  little  snow  all  winter 
and  that  it  did  not  seem  to  him  as  cold  as  the 
New  England  winters.  He,  also,  states  that  the 
Indians   claimed   that  this  was   an   average   win- 


ter, and  that  the  fact  that  they  had  no  snow 
shoes,  showed  that  the  snowfall  was  generally 
hght. 

During  his  five  months  sojourn  among  these 
Sissetons,  he  went  on  frequent  hunting  trips, 
but  what  explorations  he  made  into  the  coun- 
try of  the  Blue  Earth  we  are  not  told  though 
we  gather  that  he  made  some.  He  was  evi- 
dently much  impressed  with  the  beauty  of  the 
locality  from  the  word  pictures  he  drew  of  its 
fine  scenery. 

"The  river  St.  Pierre,  which  runs  through 
the  territories  of  the  Naudowessies,  flows  through 
a  most  delightful  country,  abounding  with  all  the 
necessaries  of  life  that  grow  spontaneously, 
and  with  a  little  cultivation  it  might  be  made 
to  produce  even  the  luxuries  of  life.  Wild 
rice  grows  here  in  great  abundance;  and  every 
part  is  filled  with  trees  bending  under  their 
loads  of  fruit,  such  as  plums,  grapes  and  ap- 
ples; the  meadows  are  covered  with  hops, 
and  many  sorts  of  vegetables,  whilst  the 
ground  is  stored  with  useful  roots,  with  angel- 
ica, spikenard,  and  ground-nuts  as  large  as 
hen's  eggs.  At  a  little  distance  from  the  sides 
of  the  river  are  eminences  from  which  you 
liave  views  that  cannot  be  exceeded  even  by  the 
most  beautiful  of  those  I  have  already  de- 
scribed; amidst  these  are  delightful  groves,  and 
such  amazing  quantities  of  maples  that  they 
would  produce  sugar  sufficient  for  any  number 
of  inhabitants. 

"Near  the  branch  which  is  termed  the  Mar- 
ble river  is  a  mountain,  from  whence  the  In- 
dians get  a  sort  of  red  stone,  out  of  which  they 
hew  the  bowls  of  their  pipes.  In  some  of 
these    parts    is    found    a    black    hard    clay,    or 


25 


26 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


rather  stone  of  which  the  Naudowessie  make 
their  family  -utensils.  This  country  likewise 
abounds  with  a  milk  white  clay  of  which 
chinaware  might  be  made  equal  in  goodness 
to  the  Asiatic;  also  with  a  blue  clay  that 
serves  the  Indians  for  paint,  with  this  last 
they  contrive  by  mixing  it  with  the  red  stone 
powdered,  to  paint  themselves  of  diSerent 
colors.  Those  that  can  get  the  blue  clay  here 
mentioned  paint  themselves  very  much  with 
it  particularly  when  they  are  about  to  begin 
their  sports  and  pastimes.  It  is  also  es- 
teemed by  them  a  mark  of  peace,  as  it  has  a 
resemblance  of  blue  sky,  which  with  them  is  a 
svmbol  of  it,  and  make  use  of  it  in  their 
speeches  as  a  figurative  expression  to  denote 
peace  when  they  wish  to  show  that  their  in- 
clinations were  pacific  toward  other  tribes,  they 
greatly  ornament  both  themselves  and  their 
belts    with    it." 

Another  long  silence  ensues  and  in  May 
1820  two  Scotchmen,  named  Graham  and 
Laidlow,  from  Lord  Selkirk's  Colony  at  Pem- 
bina, who  had  been  down  to  Prairie  du  Chien 
to  purchase  seed  for  the  Eed  river  settlements, 
whose  fields  had  been  devastated  by  grasshop- 
pers, passed  in  three  Mackinaw  boats  up  the 
Minnesota.  The  boats  were  loaded  with  two 
hundred  bushels  of  wheat,  one  hundred  bushels 
of  oats  and  thirty  bushels  of  peas,  and  pro- 
pelled by  six  men  on  each  boat  with  long 
poles.  Along  bcth  sides  of  each  boat  a 
foot  board  was  placed,  and  the  men  ranged 
in  order  upon  .these  boards  three  on  each 
side.  Each  in  turn  would  walk  to"  the  front 
of  the  boat,  plant  his  pole  in  the  bottom 
of  the  river  and  push  the  boat  ahead  walk- 
ing as  he  did  so  along  the  foot  board  un- 
til he  reached  the  rear,  where  he  would  pick  up 
his  pole  and  return  to  the  head  of  the  boat 
and  repeat  the  process.  For  over  a  hundred 
years  this  method  of  navigation  was  common 
on  the  Minnesota  and  other  western  streams. 
Ixearly  always  the  boatmen  were  French  voy- 
agers, who  by  practice  had  special  skill  in 
this  work.  It  was  their  custom  to  sing  as 
they  handled  their  poles,  and  often  in  those 
days  of  the  fur  trade  the  echoes  of  the  Min- 
i:esota  valley  were  awakened  by  the  melodies  of 


old  France.  In  the  present  instance  the 
crews  pushed  their  freighted  boats  up  the 
Minnesota  into  Big  Stone  Lake,  hauled  them 
on  rollers  across  the  portage  of  one  and  one- 
half  miles  into  Lake  Traverse  and  thence  de- 
scending the  Sioux  Wood  river  and  Eed  river 
to  the  Pembina  country  where  they  arrived 
June  3rd,   1820. 

Here  they  sold  their  produce  at  a  good  price 
and  the  crews  returned  on  foot  as  far  as  Big 
Stone  Lake  and  thence  in  canoes  down  the 
Minnesota  and  Mississippi  to  Prairie  du  Chien. 
Charles  St.  Antoine,  who  in  1856,  lived  near 
Xorthfield,  Miinn.,  was  one  of  the  number.  In 
further  evidence  of  the  use  made  of  our  wa- 
ters in  those  early  days,  and  the  skill  display- 
ed by  the  French  voyagers  in  their  navigation, 
we  are  told  that  in  the  early  part  of  the  eigh- 
teenth century  La  Framboise  and  his  voyagers, 
after  spending  the  winter  trapping  and  purchasing 
furs  along  the  upper  Des  Moines,  dragged  their 
boats  across  a  portage  of  a  mjile  and  a  half 
only,  between  the  waters  of  the  Des  Moines  and 
the  waters  of  the  Watonwan,  and  descending 
the  latter  stream  to  the  Blue  Earth,  found 
their  way  into  the  Minnesota  and  Mississippi 
with  their  cargoes  of  peltries.  This  portage 
from  the  Des  Moines  into  the  Watonwan  was 
in  the  vicinity  of  Windom,  into  a  lake  called 
by  the  Indians,  Tchan-shetcha  (Drywood 
Lake),  which  formed  the  source  of  one  of  the 
f(irks  of  the  Watonwan.  The  portage  seemed 
to  have  been  noted  enough  to  find  a  place  on 
Nicollet's  map,  which  indicates  -the  use  made 
of  the  Watonwan  in  the  traffic  of  the  fur 
traders. 

Some  years  ago  as  a  farmer  named  Kem- 
nitz  was  excavating  for  a  barn  at  the  foot  of 
the  bluff  Just  across  the  river  from  the  old 
village  of  South  Bend  he  discovered  the  stone 
foundaljion  of  some  ancient  building.  It  was 
buried  three  or  four  feet  under  ground  and 
large  trees  had  grown  over  it.  Evidently 
there  had  been  an  excavation  made  into  the 
bluff  and  the  rear  wall  built  five  or  six  feet 
high  and  about  forty  feet  long  against  the  bluff 
and  two  lateral  walls  about  24  feet  long .  erect- 
ed for  the  sides.  The  inner  surface  of  the 
stone    had    been     dressed     and     the    wall    laid 


HISTORY  OF  BLtJE  EAETH  COUNTY.  27 

in  mortar.  A  superstructure  and  front  of  and  taste  yet  the  French  readily  adopted  all 
logs  had  been  doubtless  used  to  complete  the  the  squalor  and  roughness  of  barbarism.  Their 
building.  This  log  part  had  probably  burnt,  ambition  was  not  to  lay  the  foundations  of 
as  the  inner  surface  of  the  stones  had  been  a  home,  but  of  a  fortune.  They  came  not  to 
blackened  by  smoke  and  glazed  by  heat,  and  possess  the  land,  but  its  spoils.  They  found  a 
most  of  the  rear  wall  had  fallen  in.  A  pile  vald  country,  with  wilder  inhabitants,  and  left 
of  ashes,  some  clam  shells,  and  what  seemed  both  unchanged.  They  sojourned  in  the  land 
to  be  an  liron  poker,  which  crumbled  when  a  hundred  and  fifty  years  and  then  suddenly 
touched,  were  found  inside.  Probably  this  the  land  knew  them  not.  Another  people  with 
was  the  site  of  some  ancient  trading  post  a  different  purpose  discovered  the  same  wil- 
dating  back  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  two  derness  and  it  disappeared.  They  looked  the 
hundred  years.  There  is  no  record  or  tradi-  same  savagery  in  the  face  and  it  vanished, 
tion  of  anv  such  post  in  this  vicinity,  but  the  and  the  old  order  quickly  gave  place  to  the 
ruins  remain  to  tell  the  only  tale  of  a  business  new.  These  newcomers  have  known  the  land  hard- 
venture  of  some  white  man  iin  the  long  ago.  ly  fifty  years,  but  the  impress  they  have   made 

From  these  glimpses  into  this  western  wil-  upon  it  cannot  be  effaced  in  a  thousand  years, 
derness  by  the  Blue  Earth  during  the  century  It  is  to  the  coming  of  these  miracle  workers  of 
and  half  prior  to  the  advent  of  the  settlers  modern  civilization — ^these  invincibles  of  a  vital 
we  find  that  it  was  not  wholly  untouched  Christianity  that  we  now  turn, 
by  the  foot  of  the  pale  face.  On  the  contrary  In  the  summer  of  lft23  ilaj.  Stephen  H. 
that  hardy  race  of  French  traders  and  voy-  Long  of  the  U.  S.  Army  made  an  exploring 
agers  hunted  and  trapped  in  these  forests  and  trip  up  the  ilinnesota  river  to  its  source, 
valleys  and  plains  for  ages  before  the  coming  under  directions  of  the  secretary  of  war,  and 
of  the  modern  agriculturist.  In  daring,  en-  his  notes  were  published  in  the  government 
durance  and  resourcefulness  these  Arabs  of  reports.  He  was  accompanied  by  Prof.  Wjil- 
our  northern  frontier  could  not  be  surpassed,  liam  Keating  of  the  University  of  Pennsyl- 
Their  lives  were  a  succession  of  adventures  and  vania,  who  wrote  a  book  giving  a  full  account 
replete  with  herolism.  Quick,  yet  cool,  fear-  of  the  expedition,  which  was  published  in  two 
less,  yet  cautious,  affable  yet  stern,  they  were  volumes  in  1885  at  London.  In  the  same  ex- 
well  fitted  to  meet  the  savagery,  which  sur-  pedition  also  came  an  eccentric  Italian,  J.  C. 
rounded  them.  Deprivations  and  hardships  Beltrami,  who,  also,  wrote  an  account  of  the 
never  dulled  their  ardor  or  dissipated  their  trlip  in  French,  which  was  published  in  New 
light  heartedness.  With  merry  Jest  and  song  Orleans.  This  expedition  and  the  various  books 
they  cheered  the  gloom  of  the  evening  camp  written  about  it,  attracted  wide  attention  to 
fires,  and  the  weariness  of  the  long  pull  the  Minnesota  Valley.  The  expedition,  how- 
against  the  current  or  of  the  heavy  load  across  ever,  did  not  touch  Blue  Earth  county,  but 
the  portage.  They  built  no  permanent  abodes  purposely  avoided  it  by  a  portage  over  land 
but  roamed  over  the  great  commons  of  nature  from  Traverse  Des  Sioux  to  Eed  Stone  be- 
at their  will.  In  their  day,  these  experts  of  cause  of  the  hostility  of  the  Indians  about  the 
the  wilderness,  made  not  only  the  Minnesota,  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth,  inspired  by  the  sad 
but  the  Blue  Earth  and  all  its  tributaries  fate  of  their  chief  Mazakoota. 
highways  of  their  commerce.  History,  how-  In  1835  an  Englishman,  named  Geo.  W. 
ever,  has  preserved  but  few  annals  of  these  Featherstonhaugh,  who  had  been  commissioned 
Nimrods  of  the  West,  and  hence  we  must  pass  U.  S.  Geologist  by  Col.  J.  J.  Ahert  of  the 
them  by,  and  come  to  the  real  forerunners  of  bureau  of  Topographical  Engineers,  made  an 
our  modern  civilization,  the  explorers,  who  exploring  trip  up  the  Minnesota  valley.  In 
attracted  the  attention  of  the  home  seeker  to  the  Company  was  Prof.  William  W.  Mather, 
the    country.  a   native    of    Connecticut,    then    a    scientific    in- 

While    retaining    a    certain    native    politeness  structor    at    West    Pdint,    but   later    state   geolo- 


28 


HISTORY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


gist  of  Ohio.     A  man  of  great  scientific  ability, 
principally    as    a   geologist. 

Two  works  were  published  as  the  fruit 
of  this  expedition.  One  an  official  report  pub- 
lished by  the  government  in  1836  and  the 
other  entitled  "A  Canoe  Voyage  up  the  Miin- 
naj'-sotar"  published  in  London  in  1847;  both 
of  which  helped  to  call  attention  to  the  coun- 
try. In  the  latter  work  Featherstonhaugh 
speaks  of  a  trip  he  took  up  the  Blue  Earth  to 
investigate    the    copper    mine    of    Le    Sueur. 

As  this  portion  of  his  narrative  pertains  to 
Blue  Earth  County,  it  has  a  special  interest  to 
us  and  we  give  it  in  an  abridged  form. 

"September  22nd,    (1835)    soon  after  8  A.  M. 
we  came  to  the  mouth  of  the  Mahkatoh  or  'Blue 
Earth   Biver.'      This   was    a   bold   stream,    about 
80    yards    wide,    loaded    with   mud    of    a    bluish 
color,    evidently    the    cause    of    the    St.    Peter's 
being  so  turbid.     It  was  not  far  from  the  mouth 
of  this  river  that  M.  Le  Sueur  was  asserted  to 
have  discovered  in  1692  an  immense  deposit  of 
copper   ore.     No   traveller   had   ever   entered   the 
river    to   investigate   his    statement;    I    therefore 
directed  the  head  of  the  canoe  to  be  turned  into 
the  stream.     Having   ascended   it   about   a  mile, 
we    found    a    Sisseton    family    established    with 
tlieir  skin  lodge  upon  a  sand  bar.     These  people 
constantly    asserted    that    they    knew    of    no    re- 
mains of  any  old  fort  or  stone  building  in  that 
part   of  the  country.     Whilst  we  were  negotiat- 
ing   this    exchange,    it   began    to    snow    for    the 
first  time   this  autumn.     Pushing  on,  we  passed 
a  singular  conical  grassy  hill  on  the  right  bank, 
which  commanded  all  the  vicinity,  and  appeared 
to    be    a    likely    situation    for    the    site    of    Le 
Sueur's  fort.     About  twelve,  we  came  to  a  fork 
or    branch    coming'    down    on    our    right,    about 
forty-five    yards   broad,    and   we   turned   into    it, 
having  a  well   wooded  blufl!  on   the   right  bank, 
about  ninety  feet  high.     We  had  not  proceeded 
three-quarters    of   a   mile   when    we    reached   the 
place   which   the    Sissetons   had    described   to    us 
as  being  that  to  which  the  Indians  resorted  for 
their    pigment.      This    was    a    bluff    about    150 
feet  high,  on  the  left  bank,  and  from  the  slope 
being  much  trodden   and   worn   away,   I   saw   at 
once  that  it  was  a  locality  which  for  some  pur- 
pose or  other  had  been  frequented  from  a  very 


remote    period.     We   accordingly   stopped   there, 
■\\rhilst  I  examined  the  place. 

"As  soon  as  I  had  reached  that  part  of  the 
bluff  whence  the  pigment  had  been  taken,  Le 
Sueur's  story  lost  aU  credit  with  me,  for  I 
ii'Stantly  saw  that  it  was  nothing  but  a  con- 
tinuation of  the  seam  which  divided  the  sand- 
stone from  the  limestone,  and  which  I  have  be- 
fore spoken  of  at  the  Myah  Skah,  as  contain- 
ing a  silicate  of  iron  of  a  bluish-green  color. 

"The  concurrent  account  of  all  the  Indians 
we  had  spoken  with,  that  this  was  the  place 
tlie  aborigines  had  always  resorted  to,  to  pro- 
cure their  pigment,  and  the  total  silence  of 
everybody  since  Le  Sueur's  visit  respecting  any 
deposit,  of  copper  ore,  in  this  or  any  other 
part  of-  the  country,  convinced  me  that  the  story 
of  his  copper  mines  was  a  fabulous  one,  most 
probably  invented  to  raise  himself  in  impor- 
tfince  with  the  French  government  of  that  day. 
Charlevoix  having  stated  that  the  mine  was  only 
a  league  atid  three-quarters  from  the  mouth  of 
the  Terre  Bleu,  made  it  certain  that  I  was  now 
at  that  locality,  and  the  seam  of  coloured  earth 
gave  the  key  to  the  rest.  Le  Sueur's  account 
of  the  mine  being  at  the  foot  of  a  mountain 
ten  leagues  long,  was  as  idle  as  the  assertion 
that  he  had  obtained  30,000  pounds  of  copper 
ore  in  twenty-two  days,  for  there  is  nothing  like 
a  mountain  in  the  neighborhood.  The  blufi, 
to  be  sure,  rises  to  the  height  of  150  feet  from 
the  river;  but  when  you  have,  ascended  it,  you 
find  yourself  at  the  top  of  a  level  prairie. 
Finding  the  copper  mine  to  be  a  fable,  I  turned 
niy   attention — &c.,   &c." 

In  1838  Jean  N.  Nicollet,  a  fine  scholar,  and 
the  most  accurate  and  thorough  of  all  the  ex- 
plorers of  the  Northwest,  after  whom  Nicollet 
County  is  named,  visited  Blue  Earth  County. 
He  came  in  the  employ  of  the  U.  -  S.  Govern- 
ment to  gather  material  for  a  map  of  the  upper 
Mississippi  region,  and  the  famous  explorer, 
soldier  and  statesman.  General  John  C.  Fre- 
mont was  commissioned  as  his  special  assistant. 
A  number  of  specialists  were,  also,  attached  to 
the  expedition.  They  made  quite  an  extended 
tour  of  the  county  to  explore  its  many  rivers 
and  lakes,  so  that  they  might  be  properly  delin- 
eated  on  the   proposed   map,    and   Nicollet  was 


HLSTOEV  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COFXTY. 


29 


careful  to  note  their  Indian  names.  A  number 
of  astronomic  observations  were  taken  at  dif- 
ferent points  to  determine  the  longitude  and 
latitude,  and  the  elevation  above  the  sea.  At 
the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth,  on  the  Le  Sueur 
in  McPherson,  on  the  Cobb  in  Beauford  or 
Medo,  on  the  Maple  in  Lyra,  on  the  Blue  Earth 
in  Shelby  and  Vernon  Center,  in  Pleasant 
Mound,  on  the  Watonwan  in  Garden  City,  and 
doubtless  at  other  points  in  the  county,  these 
scientific  measurements  were  made,  and  the  di- 
rections of  the  rivers  and  the  general  topography 
of  the  country  noted.  The  flora  of  the  region 
was  gathered,  and  the  geology  inspected,  and 
every  matter  of  special  interest  investigated  and 
reported.  Xicollet  was  particularly  impressed 
by  the  great  number  of  streams  tributary  to  the 
Blue  Earth  and  his  fine  poetic  fancy  suggested 
the  fitting  name  of  "Undine"  for  this  land  of 
rivers,  after  the  famous  German  romance  of 
Fouque.  We  quote  from  Nicollet's  narrative  a 
short  passage  regarding  the  country  of  which 
Blue  Earth   County  is  now  the  center. 

"Among  these  that  which  appeared  to  me  the 
most  favorable,  is  the  one  watered  liy  the  bold 
Mankato  or  Blue  Earth  river,  and  to  which  I 
have  given  the  name  of  'Uiidine  region.' 

The  great  number  of  the  navigable  tributaries 
of  the  Mankato,  spreading  themselves  out  in  the 
shape  of  a  fan;  the  group  of  lakes  surrounded 
by  well-wooded  hills ;  some  wide-spreading  prai- 
ries with  fertile  soil ;  others  apparently  less 
favored,  but  open  to  .improvement  the  whole  to- 
gether bestow  upon  this  region  a  most  pictures- 
que appearance.  It  was  while  on  a  visit  to 
lakes  Okamanpidan  and  Tchanhassan  (Little 
Heron  and  Maplewood  lakes),  that  it  occurred 
in  me  to  give  it  the  name  tliat  I  have  adopted, 
derived  from  that  of  an  interesting  and  roman- 
tic German  tale,  the  heroine  of  which  be- 
longed to  the  extensive  race  of  water-spirits 
living  in  the  brooks  and  rivers  and  lakes,  whose 
father  was  a  mighty  prince.  She  was,  moreover, 
the  niece  of  a  great  brook  (the  Mankato)  who 
lived  in  the  midst  of  forests,  and  was  beloved 
by  all  the  many  great  streams  of  the  surround- 
ing country,  etc,  etc. 

"The  Mankato  becomes  navigable  witli  boats 
within  a  few   miles   of   its  sources.     It  is   deep, 


with  a  moderate  current  along  a  great  portion 
of  its  course,  but  becomes  very  rapid  on  its  ap- 
proach to  the  St.  Peter's.  Its  bed  is  narrowly 
walled  up  by  banks  rising  to  an  elevation  of 
from  sixty  to  eighty  feet,  and  reaching  up  to 
the  uplands  through  which  the  river  flows. 
These  banks  are  frequently  cliffs,  or  vertical 
escarpments,  such  as  the  one  called  by  the 
Sioux,  "Manya  Kickaksa,"  or  "cleft  elevation." 
The  breadth  of  the  valley  through  which  it  flows 
is  scarcely  a  quarter  of  a  mile.  The  latter,  as 
well  as  the  high  grounds  are  well  wooded;  the 
timber  beginning  to  spread  out  on  both  shores, 
especially  since  they  have  become  less  fre- 
quented by  the  Sioux  hunters,  and  are  not  so 
often  fired.  But  the  crossings  of  the  river  are 
hard  to  find,  requiring  to  be  pointed  out  by  an 
experienced  guide.  I  have  laid  down  on  the 
map  my  route  over  the  Undine  region,  and  the 
geographical  positions  of  the  crossing  places  will 
be  found  in  the  table  at  the  end  of  the  report. 

"On  the  left  bank  of  the  Mankato,  six  miles 
from  it^  mouth  in  a  rocky  bluff,  composed  of 
sandstone  and  limestone,  are  found  cavities  in 
which  the  famed  blue  or  green  earth,  used  by 
the  Sioux  as  their  principal  pigment,  is  ob- 
tained. This  material  is  nearly  exhausted,  and 
it  is  not  likely  that  this  is  the  spot  where  a 
Mr.  Le  Sueur  (who  is  mentioned  in  the  narra- 
tive of  Major  Long's  Second  Expedition,  as 
aJso  by  Mr.  Featherstonhaugh)  could,  in  his 
tl'ird  voyage  during  the  year  ITOO  have  collected 
his  four  thousand  pounds  of  copper  earth  sent 
Ijy  him  to  France.  I  have  reason  to  believe  that 
Le  Sueur's  location  is  on  the  river  to  which  I 
have  affixed  his  name,  and  which  empties  into 
the  Mankato  three  quarters  of  a  league  above 
Fort  L'Huillier,  built  by  him,  and  where  he 
spent  a  winter. 

"This  location  corresponds  precisely  with  that 
given  by  Charlevoix,  while  it  is  totally  inappli- 
cable to  the  former.  Here  the  blue  earth  is 
abundant  in  the  steep  and  elevated  hills  at  the 
mouth  of  this  river,  which  hills  form  a  broken 
country  on  the  right  side  of  the  Mankato.  Mr. 
Fremont  and  myself  have  verified  this  fact — 
he  during  his  visit  to  the  Le  Sueur  river,  and 
I  upon  the  locality  designated  by  ilr.  Feather- 
stonhaugh,   where    the    Dakotahs    formerly    as- 


30 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  BAKTH  COUNTY. 


sembled  in  great  numbers  to  collect  it,  but  to 
which  they  now  seldom  resort,  as  it  is  now  com- 
paratively scarce — at  least  so  I  was  told  by 
SJeepy  Eye,  the  chief  of  the  Sissetons,  who  ac- 
companied me  during  this  excursion. 

"As  I  did  in  the  case  of  the  red  pipestone  de- 
scribed above  I  will  state  the  mineralogical  char- 
acter of  the  Indian  blue  earth  or  clay.  It  is 
massive,  somewhat  plastic,  emits  an  argillaceous 
odor  when  breathed  upon;  color  bluish  green; 
easily  scratched  with  the  nail,  when  formed  into 
hardened  balls.  The  acids  have  no  action  upon 
it;  it  is  infusible  before  the  blowpipe,  but  loses 
it.--  color  and  becomes  brown.  This  color  is  due 
tc  the  peroxide  of  iron  which  it  contains  in  the 
proportion  of  ten  per  cent  at  least.  It  con- 
tains no  potash  and  but  a  small  proportion  of 
lime.  It  is  a  very  different  mineral  from  that 
described  by  Dr.  Thompson  under  the  name  of 
pipe-clay." 

General  Fremont  speaks  of  their  visit  to  the 
Blue  Earth  country  and  gives  a  glimpse  of  the 
party  at  work  in  the  following  extract  we 
take  from  his  "Memoirs:" 

"The  Traverse  des  Sioux  is  a  crossing  place 
about  thirty  miles  long,  where  the  river  makes  a 
large  rectangular  bend,  coming  down  from  the 
northwest  and  turning  abruptly  to  the  northeast; 
the  streams  from  the  southeast,  the  south  and 
southwest  flowing  into  a  low  line  of  depression 
to  where  they  gather  into  a  knot  at  the  head  of 
tliis  bend,  and  into  its  lowest  part  as  into  a 
bowl.  In  this  great  elbow  of  the  river  is  the 
Marahtanka,  or  Big  Swan  Lake,  the  summer 
resort  of  the  Sisseton  Sioux."  After  describing 
their  camp  at  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Cottonwood 
he  proceeds,  "We  were  occupied  quietly  among 
the  Indians,  Mr.  ISTicollet,  as  usual,  surrounded 
by  them,  with  the  aid  of  the  interpreter  getting 
them  to  lay  out  the  form  of  the  lake,  and  the 
course  of  the  streams  entering  the  river  near, 
and  after  repeated  pronunciations,  entering  their 
names  in  his  note  book ;  Geyer,  followed  bv  some 
Indians,  curiously  watching  him  while  digging 
up  plants;  and  I  more  numerously  attended, 
pouring  out  the  quicksilver  for  the  artificial 
horizon,  each  in  his  way  busy  at  work;  when 
suddenly  every  thing  started  into  motion,  the 
Indians    running   tumultuously    to    a    little   rise 


w^hich  commanded  a  view  of  the  prairie,  all 
clamor  and  excitement.  The  commotion  was 
caused  by  the  appearance  of  two  or  three  elk  on 
the  prairie  horizon.  Those  of  us  who  were 
strangers,  and  ignorant  of  their  usages,  fancied 
there  must  be  at  least  a  war  party  in  sight." 
He  further  states,  "AVhile  Mr.  Nicollet  was  oc- 
cupied in  making  a  survey  of  the  Le  Sueur 
river,  and  identifying  localities,  and  verifying 
accounts  of  preceding  travelers,  I  was  sent  to 
make  an  examination  of  the  Mankato  or  Blue 
Earth  rivers,  which  bore  on  the  subject  he  had 
in  view." 

The  results  of  this  expedition  were  incor- 
porated by  Mr.  Nicollet  in  a  very  interesting 
and  instructive  report,  which  was  accompanied 
by  a  large  and  most  valuable  map,  the  most 
complete  and  accurate  of  the  upper  Mississippi 
country,  which  up  to  that  time  had  been  pro- 
duced, and  for  years  was  the  basis  of  most 
maps  of  the  region.  General  J.  K.  Warren,  a 
high  authority,  declares  it  to  be;  "One  of  the 
greatest  contributions  ever  made  to  American 
geography."  It  probably  did  as  much  as  any 
one  thing  in  directing  the  attention  of  settlers 
to  the  Blue  Earth  region.  Many  of  our  pioneers 
attribute  their  coming  to  this  part  of  the  land 
to  this  map. 

In  July,  1841,  Gov.  James  D.  Doty  of  Wis- 
consin, while  negotiating  a  treaty  with  the  In- 
dians at  Traverse  des  Sioux,  made  a  visit  to 
the  country  of  the  Blue  Earth  to  which  he 
refers  in  a  report  the  fojlowing  year  in  these 
words:  'TTou  are  aware  that  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Mahkato  river  there  was,  a  hundred  years 
ago,  a  copper  smelting  establishment  erected  by 
a  Frenchmen.  I  visited  the  ruins  last  summer. 
There  is  no.  doubt  in  my  mind  that  extensive 
beds  of  copper  ore  will  be  found  in  the  valley 
of  the  Minisoto,"  etc.  We  wonder  what  the 
governor  really  saw  to  make  him  believe  that 
they  were  the  "ruins  of  a  copper  smelting  es- 
tablishment," or  to  make  him  so  sure  that  there 
was  copper  in  the  country. 

Early  in  October,  1844,  Captain  B.  V.  Sum- 
ner and  Lieut.  J.  Allen  with  a  company  of 
dragoons  from  Fort  Atkinson,  while  on  an  ex- 
pedition to  Lac  qui  Parle  to  arrest  some  Indians, 
who  had   murdered   three   cattle   drovers,   passed 


HISTOKY  OF  BLUE  BAETII  COUNTY. 


31 


tlirough  Blue  Earth  Count}',  cutting  a  road  for 
tlieir  supply  wagons  through  the  timber,  fol- 
lowing an  old  Indian  trail  from  the  present 
town  of  Decoria  to  where  now  stands  the  city  o'f 
Mankato.  They  descended"  into  the  valley  over 
Bunker  hill  and  camped  one  night  near  the 
south  end  of  Front  street. 

They  passed  down  the  valley  to  the  crossing 
at  Traverse  des  Sioux.  In  two  or  three  weeks 
they  returned  by  the  same  route  with  four  or 
five  Indian  prisoners,  but  they  did  not  prove 
tj  be  the  real  guilty  ones.  The  following  June 
therefore,  Captain  Sumner  led  a  second  expedi- 
tion over  the  same  road.  Henry  M.  Eice  was 
sutler  to  these  military  campaigns.  Seven  years 
later  the  first  settlers  at  Mankato  discovered  this 
old  militar}'  road  and  used  it  for  a  time.  Be- 
side it  in  the  timber  the)',  also,  found  a  broken 
and  abandoned  military  wagon. 

During  1847-50  a  geological  survey  was  made 
of  the  IMinnesota  and  Blue  Earth  rivers  under 
direction  of  Dr.  D.  D.  Owen.  IMost  of  the  work 
in  Blue  Earth  County  was  done  by  Prof.  B. 
F.  Shumard.  Extended  reports  of  these  surveys 
were  published  by  the  government.  The  year 
1850  was  mainly  noted  in  the  history  of  our 
ccmmonwealth  because  of  its  steamboat  excur- 
sions up  the  Minnesota  river.  Prior  to  this  year 
no  steamer  had  ever  ascended  our  sky-tinted 
river  more  than  a  few  miles  above  its  mouth. 
It  was  supposed  to  be  unnavigable  except  for 
irackinaw  boats  and  Indian  canoes,  especially 
beyond  the  Eapids  at  Carver.  In  the  latter 
part  of  June,  1850,  a  big  freslict  occurred  in 
tliC  river  just  as  the  Anthony  Wayne,  a  Mis- 
sissippi boat,  in  charge  of  Captain  Able,  ar- 
rived at  St.  Paul.  The  Wayne  was  a  fairly 
good  sized,  side-wheel  boat  and  had  an  excursion 
aboard  of  seventy  persons  from  St.  Louis.  They 
■s^ere  a  jolly  crowd  and  had  brought  with  them 
a  string  band  from  Quincy,  Illinois,  to  help 
enliven  the  trip.  Seeing  so  much  water  in  the 
^rinnesota,  someone  suggested  an  excursion  upon 
it  with  the  Wayne.  After  consultation  with 
river  pilots,  who  had  been  up  the  ]\Iinnesota 
in  Mackinaw  boats,  Captain  Abies  concluded  to 
make  the  venture.  The  people  of  St.  Paul  gen- 
erally took  a  great  interest  in  the  project  through 
the  efforts  of  Henry  L.  Tilden  and  David  01m- 


stead,  and  a  purse  of  $225.00,  to  defray  the  ex- 
penses, was  quickly  raised.  So  on  Friday,  June 
28th,  1850,  the  Anthony  Wayne  with  over  150 
of  St.  Paul's  most  prominent  citizens  and  their 
seventy  St.  Louis  guests  on  board,  turned  her 
prow  up  the  unknown  waters  of  tlie  ilinnesota. 
At  Fort  Snelling  the  military  band  joined  the 
jiarty.  The  day  was  [)erfect,  the  scenery, 
adorned  with  the  luxuriant  vegetation  of  the 
season  was  mag-nificent.  The  boat  went  as  far 
as  the  rapids  and  returned  to  St.  Paul  by 
night  without  a  single  mishap.  The  success  of 
the  trip,  the  beauty  and  fertility  of  the  great 
valley  surpassed  all  expectations.  Other  boats 
grew  envious  of  the  sudden  popularity  of  the 
Wayne.  Two  weeks  later,  another  steamer,  the 
ISTominee,  thinking  she  could  do  as  much  and 
n:ore  than  her  rival,  got  up  another  big  ex- 
cursion and  ascended  not  only  to  the  rapids,,  but 
through  them,  and  having  planted  her  shingle 
two  or  three  miles  above  them  returned  in  tri- 
umph. The  Anthony  Wayne,  not  to  be  outdone 
by  the  "Xominee"  got  tip  another  monster  ex- 
cursion and  on  Thursday,  July  18th.  ascended 
the  river  to  the  big  bend,  a  mile  or  two  below 
the  city  of  ]\Iankato.  Animated  by  a  spirit  of 
emulation,  Captain  ^I.  K.  Harris  of  the  'TTan- 
kee"  concluded  to  out  do  all  the  other  boats. 
With  the  help  of  Colonel  Goodhue  and  others 
hf,  got  up  a  big  excursion  party  and  on  July 
S2nd,  started  up  the  now  famous  river.  At 
Fort  Snelling  the  military  band  was  taken  on 
board  to  help  entertain  the  gala  crowd.  The 
"Yankee"  had  the  advantage  of  being  a  smaller 
boat  than  the  other  two,  and  was  a  stern  wheeler. 
Passing  the  shingles  of  the  three  former  excur- 
sions, she  arrived  on  the  third  night  with  her 
tlirong  of  sischtseers  opposite  the  present  village 
of  Judson.  The  want  of  provisions,  the  excessive 
heat — 104  in  the  shade — and  the  pestiferous  at- 
tacks of  myriads  of  mosquitoes  finally  on  the 
morrow  induced  our  explorers  to  turn  back.  At 
noon  they  tarried  a  few  minutes  at  the  mouth 
oP  the  Blue  Earth,  where  they  found  a  log  trad- 
ing post,  belonging  to  H.  H.  Sibley  in  charge 
of  a  Frenchman.  It  stood  at  the  base  of  Sibley 
5[ound — at  its  northwest  corner.  Some  of  the 
party  picked  up  a  small  lump  of  ligTiite  coal 
from    among    the   bed    of   pebbles   found    at   the 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


junction  of  the  rivers.  The  Frenchman  as- 
sured them  that  a  few  miles  up  the  Blue  Earth 
there  was:  a  vein  three  or  four  feet  thick  of  the 
same  substance.  Perhaps  he  inferred  so  from 
the  Indian  name  "ila^yasapa''  (Black  Banks)  ap- 
plied to  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  in  dis- 
tinction to  Mayaskadan  (white  banks)  the  In- 
dian name  for  the  mouth  of  the  Minnesota,  or  it 
may  be  this  coal  mine  lies  buried  in  the  same 
lost  moiTutain  as  Le  Sueur's  copper  mine. 

These  excursions  fully  demonstrated  the  navi- 
gability of  the  ilinnesota,  and  the  hundreds 
of  people  who  had  participated  in  them  were  all 
completely  captivated  by  the  beauty  and  fertility 
of  the  country,  and  went  everywhere  proclaiming 
it.  St.  Paul  went  wild  about  it.  Her  papers 
were  full  of  glowing  accounts  of  its  wonderful 
wealth  and  splendor.  Her  citizens  could  talk  of 
nothing  else  and  every  home  seeker  and  fortune 
hunter  was  immediately  inocculated  with  the 
idea  that  here  was  the  land  of  promise.  Having 
spied  the  land  and  found  it  so  good  and  so 
accessible    by    boats,    the    white    people    became 


anxious  to  go  in  and  possess  it,  and  the  result 
was  the  great  event  of  the  following  year, 
namely :  the  treaties  of  Traverse  des  Sioux  and 
ilendota.  By  these  important  treaties,  negotiat- 
td  in  Jul}-  and  August,  1851,  the  Sioux  or 
Dakota  Indians,  transferred  to  the  whites  all  of 
}linnesota.  south  of  St.  Cloud  and  Morehead  and 
west  of  the  Mississippi,  taking  in  also  portions 
of  Iowa  and  of  South  Dakota — an  empire  in 
area — an  Eldorado  in  wealth  and  a  Paradise  in 
beauty. 

Xo  sooner  was  the  treaty  signed  than  set- 
tlers began  to  pour  into  the  country,  and  the 
winter  of  1851-2  witnessed  the  founding  of  many 
townsites  along  the  Minnesota  valley.  Most 
of  the  proprietors  of  these  towns  were  citizens 
cf  St.  Paul,  and  were  thus  most  advantageously 
located  to  direct  the  tide  of  immigration  toward 
their  new  possessions;  for  St.  Paul  then  was 
the  gateway  of  Minnesota.  Shakopee,  Le  Sueur, 
Traverse  des  Sioux,  St.  Peter  as  well  as  Man- 
kato  and  other  valley  towns  of  that  date  were 
so  founded. 


CHAPTER  V. 


FIEST    SETTLEMENTS.  IN   BLUE    EAETH 
COUNTY. 


Among  the  excursionists  on  board  the  "Yan- 
kee" in  1850  were  two,  who  were  specially 
impressed  by  the  country  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Blue  Earth.  They  were  Henry  Jackson  and 
Parsons  King  Johnson,  both  prominent  residents 
of  St.  Paul. 

Mr.  Jackson  was  a  native  of  Virginia  where 
he  was  born  in  February,  1811.  When  a  young 
man  he  went  to  Texas  and  in  1836-7  served  as 
orderly  sargent  in  the  Patriot  war.  Soon  after 
this  he  returned  to  the  states  and  located  at 
Buffalo,  New  York.  Here  in  May,  1838,  he 
married  Angelina  Bevins  and  moved  the  same 
spring  to  Green  Bay,  Wis.,  and  thence  in  a  year 
or  two  to  Galena,  111.,  where  he  engaged  in 
business.  In  June,  1842,  he  and  his  wife  landed 
at  the  present  site  of  St.  Paul  where  there  was 
hardly  a  habitation  in  which  they  could  find 
shelter  for  the  first  night,  which  chanced  to  be 
dark  and  rainy.  Soon  he  purchased  of  one  Ben. 
Gervais  three  acres  of  land  bounded  at  present 
by  Bench,  Eobert,  Third  and  Jackson  streets 
and  erected  the  first  house  with  a  shingled  roof 
ia  our  capitol  city.  In  this  building  he  con- 
ducted the  first  store,  the  first  hotel,  the  first 
post  office  and  the  first  court  in  St.  Paul.  He 
was  appointed  postmaster  in  1816,  though  he 
liad  acted  in  that  capacity  for  some  years  prior. 
He  was  elected  a  member  of  the  Wisconsin  As- 
sembly, while  St.  Paul  still  pertained  to  that 
9tate,  and  later  he  was  a  member  of  the  first 
territorial  legislature  of  Minnesota.  He  also 
served  on  the  first  town  council  of  St.  Paul. 
A  strong  character,  able,  energetic,  self  reliant, 
e^er  ready  for  any  new  enterprise — such  was 
Henry  Jackson.  Mr.  Johnson,  his  brother-in- 
hiAv,  was  a  A'ermont  man  by  birth,  and  a  tailor 
by  trade.     In  the  spring  of   1837,   on  attaining 


his  majority  he  came  west,  and  located  first  at 
liockford.  III,  then  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  whence 
h.e  came  to  St.  Paul  in  the  spring  of  1847,  and 
boarded  for  some  time  with  Henry  Jackson.  In 
j\[ay,  1850,  married  Laura  Bivens,  a  sister  of  Mrs. 
Jackson.  He  had  been  a  member  of  the  first 
territorial  legislature  of  Minnesota.  Genial, 
witty,  companionable,  he  made  friends  wherever 
he  went.  While  better  educated  and  more  re- 
fined and  even  tempered  than  Jackson,  he  lacked 
the  latter's  push  and  energy.  This  with  his  dis- 
inclination to  selfish  advantage  and  acquisition, 
and  his  convivial  habits,  which  he  shared  with 
his  friend  Jackson,  and  with  too  many  of  the 
pioneers  of  his  day,  hindered  his  accumulation 
of  much  property.  His  happy,  contented  and 
peaceable  disposition,  however,  insured  him  more 
enjoyment  and  length  of  days  than  wealth  could 
have  done. 

jMany  are  the  stories  told  of  his  wit  and 
humor.  Space  forbids  the  narration  of  more 
than  two  to  illustrate  his   characteristics. 

It  was  in  the  antibellum  days,  when  politics 
^vere  intense  and  their  discussion  often  rufEled 
the  temper.  A  big  hurley  stranger  of  English 
descent  had  drawn  Johnson  into  a  hot  dispute 
over  some  question  of  disagreement  between  the 
two  nations.  The  Englishman  challenged  John- 
son to  fight  him.  After  both  had  reached  the 
street  and  taken  off  their  coats  Johnson  with 
the  gravest  expression  of  countenance  said  to 
bis  antagonist :  "Stranger,  before  we  engage 
in  this  first  encounter  let  us  sit  down  a  bit  and 
sing  a  hymn,  omitting  the  first  and  last  stanzas." 
The  ridiculous  suggestion  broke  up  the  fight, 
and  the  Englishman  departed  with  his  wrath 
badly  punctured. 

It   was    the   fifth   of   July   in   the  days    when 


33 


34 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


Mankato  was  a  -village  and  Squire  Johnson  sat 
on  the  bench  of  justice.  Two  women  walked  into 
the  court  room  and  one  of  them  related  most 
vividly,  how  her  husband  in  attempting  to  cele- 
brate the  great  day  of  American  Independence, 
had  grossly  overdone  the  matter,  much  against 
the  peace  and  dignity  of  the  State  of  Minnesota, 
as  was  evidenced  by  certain  scratches  and  bruises 
exhibited  by  the  wife.  "P.  K."  as  Johnson  was 
familiarly  called  listened  patiently  to  the  wom- 
an's harrowing  tale  of  the  breach  of  the  law, 
but  the  court  had  not  recovered  fully  from  the 
effects  of  his  own  celebration,  and  was  aware  of 
his  inability,  after  looking  earnestly  at  the  wom- 
an a  minute  or  two  he  asked,  "Are  you  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Presbyterian  Church?"  Surprised 
and  angry  the  woman  sharply  retorted  "ISTo,  I 
belong  to  no  church.  What  has  that  to  do  with 
getting  a  warrant?"  Johnson  gravely  replied, 
"Madame,  I  am  very  sorry,  but  the  day  after  the 
Fourth  my  Jurisdiction  is  limited  to  the  Pres- 
byterian church."  The  women  expressed  their 
opinions  of  the  court  in  language  quite  vigorous 
and  left  in  a  hufE. 

Such    were    the    two    men,    who    in    January, 

1852,  at  Jackson's  store  in  St.  Paul  were  dis- 
cussing earnestly  the  proposition  of  locating  a 
townsite  at  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth.  Fin- 
ally   on    Saturday,    the    31st    day    of    January, 

1853,  having  hired  two  wood  choppers,  named 
Daniel  Williams  and  John  James,  and  a  team- 
ster, named  Louis  DeMoreau,  to  carry  the  men 
with  the  goods  and  provisions,  they  started  for 
the  site  of  their  future  city.  Jackson  and 
Johnson  led  the  way  in  their  cutter,  while  the 
rest  of  the  party  followed  in  the  Frenchman's 
sleigh  drawn  by  two  Indian  ponies.  With  the 
company  went  W.  W.  Paddock  to  view  the  coun- 
try. 

Winter,  which  the  week  before  had  sent  the 
n^ercury  thirty  degrees  below,  had  suddenly  lost 
his  grip,  and  the  weather  was  balmy  as  April. 
The  snow  had  mostly  disappeared  and  the  pro- 
gress of  our  travelers  was  slow  and  tedious. 
The  first  night  was  spent  with  the  old  Indian 
interpreter,  Hugh  Quinn,  just  above  Fort  Snell- 
ing.  The  second  night  they  lodged  with  Tom 
Holmes,  who  had  just  built  the  first  log  cabin 
on   the  present  site  of  Shakopee.     Holmes  had 


great  expectations  for  his  town.  He  said  St. 
I'aul  might  make  quite  a  city  were  it  not  so 
near  Shakopee.  The  third  night  found  our 
friends  at  the  trading  post  of  Nelson  Robert, 
a  mile  or  two  below  the  present  site  of  Belle 
Plaine.  Here  Jackson  was  taken  sick  and 
early  next  morning  returned  in  the  cutter  to 
St.  Paul.  The  rest  of  the  party  pressed  on  in 
De  Moreau's  sleigh,  and  camped  the  fourth 
night,  where  the  city  of  Le  Sueur  now  stands. 
Here  Messrs.  C'athcart  and  Christie,  were  in 
the  act  of  laying  out  that  townsite,  and  they 
were  greatly  exercised  by  the  advent  of  John- 
son's party,  fearing  they  had  come  to  jump 
their  valuable  claim.  Late  at  night  the  entire 
Le  Sueur  company  each  armed  with  a  gun  paid 
our  tired  travelers  a  visit,  pretending  they  were 
just  returning  from  a  hunt,  when  in  fact  their 
object  was  to  learn  with  what  intent  the  new 
comers  had  arrived.  Having  learned  this  the 
Cathcart-Christie  party  departed,  but  lest  there 
might  be  treachery,  since  it  was  plain  that  the 
spot  they  had  chosen  was  sure  to  be  the  site 
of  the  biggest  city  west  of  Chicago,  they  spent 
the  rest  of  the  night  staking  out  lots  and  build- 
ing log  shanties.  Unmindful  of  the  trepida- 
tion their  presence  was  causing,  and  of  the  fu- 
ture greatness  of  the  spot  on  which  they  camped, 
our  friends  rose  early  next  morning  and  by 
noon  Traverse  des  Sioux  was  reached,  then  the 
principal  point  in  the,  Minnesota  valley,  where 
six  months  before  had  been  held  the  great  Sioux 
Treaty.  David  Faribault  and  Alexander  Gra- 
ham had  Indian  trading  posts  here,  and  Nathan 
Myrick  had  opened  a  more  pretentious  store 
the  previous  November  in  charge  of  his  brother, 
A.  J.  Myrick.  Here,  too,  were  the  three  neatly 
painted  mission  buildings  of  the  American  Board, 
and  a  few  log  houses,  giving  the  place  an  air  of 
civilization. 

After  dinner  our  party  proceeded  as  far  as 
Joseph  Provencelle's  trading  post,  which  stood 
about  where  the  St.  Peter  Asylum  is  now  lo- 
cated. Joseph  or  "Joe"  as  he  was  generally 
called  was  the  son  of  the  old  Traverse  des  Sioux 
trader,  Louis  Provencelle  (or  "Le  Blanc"  as  he 
was  nicknamed)  by  an  Indian  mother.  He  had 
married  a  daughter  of  Sleepy  Bye,  the  noted 
head  chief  of  the  Sissetons.     The  river  had  to 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


be    recrossed    near    Joe's    cabin,    but    the    recent 
thaw    would    not    permit    it    that    afternoon,    as 
there  was  a  rod  or  two   of  clear  water  on  each 
side  of  the  river.     The  night  was  therefore  spent 
at    Joe    Provencelle's    cabin.      By    morning    our 
friends    were    able    to    cross    the    river    on    the 
fresh   ice,    but   it    was    only    to    find    their   pro- 
gress arrested  by  a  more  serious  obstacle.     The 
Kasota    plateau    that    winter    was    covered   by    a 
vast    Indian    camp.      Hundreds   of    Indian    dogs 
signaled   loudly   the   unwonted    approach   of   the 
whites   and  soon  the  Indians,  men,  women   and 
children,   came  pouring  out   of  their   teepees   to 
see    what    the    commotion    was    about.       Chief 
Sleepy  Eye  with   a   number  of  his  braves   went 
to   meet   our   travelers    and    demanded   the    pur- 
pose of   their   visit.     Upon  being   told,   the   old 
chief   declared   that   his   young   men   would    not 
permit  the  whites  to  settle  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Blue    Earth,    as    it   was    the    key   to   their    best 
hunting  grounds,   and  »there  was  located   one  of 
their  principal    sugar  camps.     To  the  argument 
that  the   Indians  by  the   recent  treaty  had  sold 
all  these  lands  to  the  whites,  Sleepy  Eye  replied 
•  that    they    had    not    yet    received    their    money. 
Every     argument     and     appeal    failed,     and    it 
looked   as   though   the   enterprise   would  have   to 
be  abandoned.     Johnson's  Yankee  wit  finally  hit 
upon  a  new  tact.     Seeing  that  their  recent  host, 
Joe    Provencelle,    had    come    over    to    learn    the 
cause   of   the   trouble,    and    knowing   him   to   be 
the  chief's  son-in-law,  he  called  him  to  one  side 
and  explained  to  him  that  because  of  the  poor 
sleighing,  they  would  be  obliged  to  divide  their 
load   and  he   wanted   Joe   to   get  his  horse   and 
sleigh  and  carry  a  portion  of  it  in  case  Sleepy 
Eye  would  let  them  proceed..     He  told  Joe  then 
what    they    would    pay    him,    a    most    tempting 
price.     Having  thus   got   Joe   Provencelle   inter- 
ested on  the  side  of  the  whites  it  did  not  take 
long    for    him    to    arrange    things    between    his 
father-in-law    and    them.      A    few    provisions    in 
hand   delivered   and  an   order  on   Jackson  for  a 
barrel  of  pork  satisfied  his  red  majesty  and  John- 
son   and    his    party    were    allowed    to    proceed, 
l^he  order  for  pork  referred  to  was  not  presented 
for    a    year    or    two,    but    one    day    an    Indian 
brought  it  to  Johnson   at"  Mankato,   and   it  was 
honored.     With   Joe    Provencelle   as   guide    and 


helping  transport  the  luggage,  our  travelers 
reached  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  that  after- 
noon, being  Thursday,  February  5th,  1853. 
Their  first  night  in  their  chosen  locality  was 
spent  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Blue  Earth  at  the 
south  foot  of  Sibley  mound. 

Sibley's   trading   post   and   the   Frenchman   in 
charge    of    it    had    both    disappeared    from    the 
other  side  of  the  mound,  but  on  top  of  it  about 
where  the   flagstaff  now   stands  Mr.   Sibley   had 
caused  the  sides  of  a  log  shanty  to  be  erected, 
with   the   view    of    claiming   the   location    for    a 
townsite.     Just  south  of  the  mound  where   the 
race  track  is  now  situated  was  a  fine  meadow  in 
which  a  very  small  stack  of  hay  had  been  cut. 
The  forenoon  of  the  next  day  was  spent  by  Mr. 
Johnson    and   his    companions    in    exploring   the 
land   adjacent  to  the   mound   for  the  best  loca- 
tion for  their  future  city.     Classic  in  many  an 
Indian   legend    and    French    adventure    was    the 
ground  they  traversed.     Just  west   of  the  Blue 
Earth  was  the  site  of  an  ancient  Indian  village, 
where   the   old    chief   Mahkato,    had    held    sway. 
Here  was  the  home  of  Akich-etah-dutah,  whose 
sad   tale   of  paternal  love   is  worthy   of   immor- 
tal song.     Here  the  Indian  maiden  Hapan,  had 
poured   out  her  lament  and  life  for  her  unfor- 
timate  lover.     Here  had  lived  the  Indian   chief 
Tioskate,    who    in    1695    had    accompanied    Le 
Sueur  to  ^lontreal  and  died  there,  after  twenty- 
two   rlavs  illness;  and  here,   five  years  later,  Le 
Sueur  had  met  sixteen  of  his  weeping  relatives. 
Here  Wahkentape,  another  Sioux  chief,  had  en- 
.  tertained  Le   Sueur  and  his  followers,   at  many 
a   feast.      Two    and    a   half   miles   up    the   Blue 
Earth    was    the    site    of    old    Fort    Le    Huillier, 
built   by   the    French    in    the    autumn    of    1700, 
while  prospecting  for  copper  in  the  clayey  hanks  of 
the  river  and  where  to  this  day  the  goods   and 
the  tools  of  the  garrison   are  cached.     Near  by 
are   the  beds   of  bluish   green   clay,   famed   as   a 
sacred   pigment    among    all    tlie    aborigines,    and 
which    gave    the    river    and    our    county    their 
names. 

Investigation  disclosed  the  fact  that  the  lands 
immediately  adjacent  to  the  mouth  of  the  Blue 
Earth  were  subject  to  overflow  in  high  water, 
and  hence  not  adapted  for  the  location  of  the 
future   city.     Finally   a  narrow   strip    of   prairie 


36 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


laying  between  Warren  Creek  and  the  stone 
quarry  bench  was  selected.  A  beautiful  spot  it 
was,  covered  with  tall  dead  grass,  which  waved 
in  the  breeze  like  a  field  of  ripe  grain,  and 
interspersed  here  and  there  with  clumps  of 
brush  and  small  trees.  On  one  side  the  river 
swept  in  a  grand  curve  affording  a  convenient 
boat  landing,  just  above  high  water  mark,  while 
on  the  other  side  the  great  forest  climbed  in 
terraces  the  high  bluff  and  thence  stretched 
for  miles,  unbroken  in  its  vastness,  towering  in 
its  majesty,  and  impressive  in  its  solitude.  In 
the  edge  of  this  forest  was  a  pond  fed  by  a 
number  of  springs,  which  gushed  from  the  foot 
of  the  bluff.  A  grove  of  tall  graceful  poplars 
encircles  it,  mingled  with  a  tangle  of  willows 
and  vines.  At  the  south  end  of  this  pool,  be- 
side a  huge  fallen  tree,  near  the  present  site  of 
Masonic  hall,  the  first  camp  was  pitched  on 
the  sixth  of  February,  1853. 

After  hauling  together  a  few  logs,  De  Moreau 
and  Paddock  returned  with  the  team  to  St.  Paul, 
leaving  Johnson,  Williams  and  James  to  fashion 
the  first  cabin.  No  great  architectural  skill  was 
displayed  in  its  construction.  A  low  log  shanty, 
twelve  feet  square,  plastered  with  black  loam, 
gathered  from  some  half  thawed  gopher  hills, 
roofed  with  bark  and  floored  with  mother  earth, 
it  stood  on  the  rear  of  lot  4  block  6  of  Man- 
kato,  about  midway  between  the  State  bank  and 
Patterson  Wholesale  block.  A  single  opening  in 
its  easterly  end  served  the  double  purpose  of 
door  and  window. 

One  day  after  the  sides  of  the  cabin  had  been 
raised,  and  while  Johnson  was  inside  of  the 
enclosure  cooking  a  savory  mess  of  pork  and 
beans  for  dinner  over  a  camp  fire,  an  Indian 
accompained  by  his  young  son  called  and  de- 
manded food.  As  Johnson's  supply  of  provisions 
were  almost  exhausted,  owing  to  the  heavy  toll 
paid  to  old  Sleepy  Eye  and  Joe  Provencelle, 
and  there  were  no  more  nearer  than  St.  Paul 
he  was  obliged  to  refuse.  The  Indian  was  a 
very  large  and  ugly  looking  brute,  who  bore  a 
hard  name.  Seeing  Johnson  was  alone  and 
unarmed  he  at  once  became  insolent,  and  draw- 
ing a  long  sharp  knife,  motioned  that  he  would 
cut  the  white  man's  throat.  Johnson  was  just 
grabbing  a  big  hickory  poker  from  the  ground 


for  defense,  when  the  boy,  who  had  climbed  to 
the  top  log  of  one  side  of  the  cabin  for  a  look- 
out, saw  Williams  and  James  coming  and 
quickly  signaled  his  father  and  both  beat  a  very 
hasty  retreat. 

Wliile  Johnson  and  his  companions  were  erect- 
ing this  first  building  in  the  city  of  Mankato 
and  the  County  of  Blue  Earth,  Jackson  and  a 
number  of  friends  at  St.  Paul  were  booming  the 
country  of  the  Mahkato  and  its  future  metropolis. 
On  February  14th  the  Blue  Earth  settlement 
Claim  Association  was  organized  there,  with 
ten  members,  namely:  Henry  Jackson,  P.  K. 
Johnson,  Daniel  Williams,  Col.  D.  A.  Eobert- 
son,  Justus  C.  Eamsey,  J.  M.  Kastner,  D.  F. 
Erawley  and  William  Hartshorn.  A  stock  capi- 
tal of  $1,000.00  divided  into  ten  equal  shares 
was  subscribed  for  the  enterprise. 

The  honor  of  christening  the  new  city  was 
accorded  to  Mrs.  P.  K.  Johnson  and  Mrs. 
Henry  Jackson,  who  selected  the  name  "Man- 
kato," upon  the  suggestion  of  Col.  Robertson. 
He  had  taken  the  name  from  Nicollet's  book, 
ill  which  the  French  explorer  compared  the 
"Mahkato"  or  Blue  Earth  river  with  all  its 
tributaries,  to  the  water  nymphs  and  their  uncle 
in  the  German  legend  of  "Undine."  Through 
some  strange  misunderstanding  of  the  text,  he 
thought  the  name  to  be  that  of  a  German  water 
spirit,  when  in  fact  it  was  the  Indian  name  of 
the  Blue  Earth  river.  Though  in  a  way  unin- 
tentional, no  more  appropriate  name  could  be 
given  the  new  city,  than  that  of  the  noble 
river,  at  whose  mouth  it  is  located.  The  morn- 
ing after  forming  the  claim  association  and  the 
naming  of  the  new  city.  Col.  D.  A.  Robertson, 
Henry  Jackson,  Evans  Goodrich,  John  S.  Hinck- 
ley, with  one  or  two  others  left  St.  Paul  by 
team  to  visit  the  new  settlement  and  carry  pro- 
visions for  it,  which  they  knew  from  the  mes- 
sage brought  back  by  Paddock  and  De  Moreau 
must  be  sorely  needed.  The  morning  before  the 
arrival  of  this  party  at  the  new  town,  the  last 
morsel  of  food  had  been  eaten,  and  Johnson  had 
gone  on  foot  as  far  as  Kasota  in  quest  of  help, 
when  he  met  his  old  friends  bringing  the  long 
expected  supplies. 

Sixteen  days  now  were  spent  by  this  conipany 
inspecting  the  new  town  and  exploring  the  sur- 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


rounding  country.  Then  Robertson/  Jackson, 
Johnson  and  Hinckley  returned  to  St.  Paul  leav- 
ing Williams,  Goodrich,  James  and  one  or  two 
others  to  hold  their  new  possessions.  On  the 
JOth  of  February  Evans  Groodrich  staked  out 
northeast  of  the  townsite,  a  claim  of  160  acres, 
on  a  part  of  which  is  now  situated  Dukes  Addi- 
tion to  Mankato.  John  James  and  others,  also, 
located  claims  just  north  of  the  new  town.  On 
March  13th,  John  S.  Hinckley  paid  the  new 
settlement  a  second  visit,  in  company  with  one 
Henry  D.  J.  Koons  and  both  after  locating 
claims,  entered  into  the  employ  of  the  claim 
company  for  a  time.  Much  interest  was  now 
taken  at  St.  Paul,  in  the  Blue  Earth  Country, 
and  it  formed  the  main  topic  of  conversation. 
Five  Germans  rigged  up  a  boat  with  a  mast 
and  sail  intending  to  ascend  the  Minnesota  to 
the  land  of  promise.  They  were  Jacob  Guen- 
ther,  Peter  Frenzel,  Philip  Krummel,  —  Stultz 
and  Joseph  Weinheimer.  The  latter  was  the 
stepfather  of  Charles  and  Louis  Graf,  now  of 
Mankato.  On  the  8th  of  April,  after  the  ice 
had  left  the  river  and  while  the  water  was  still 
over  the  banks,  they  loaded  their  baggage  and 
provisions  into  the  batteau  and  started  on  their 
journey.  When  they  had  proceeded  about  fif- 
teen miles,  their  sail  caught  in  an  overhanging 
limb  and  the  boat  was  suddenly  capsized  and  the 
five  men  were  precipitated  into  the  swift,  icy 
current.  Their  cries  for  help  were  heard  by 
some  Indians  in  the  vicinity  and  all  saved,  but 
Weinheimer,  who  was  swept  away  and  drowned. 
All  the  baggage  and  provisions  were  lost  ex- 
cept one  gun,  which  Guenther  hung  to  with 
one  hand,  while  he  clung  to  the  upturned  boat 
with  the  other  until  rescued.  After  the  body 
of  their  unfortunate  companion  had  been  re- 
covered and  buried,  the  remaining  four,  noth- 
ing daunted,  procured  fresh  supplies,  and  reached 
Mankato  on  foot  before  the  last  of  May.  Pleased 
with  the  country  they  all  located  upon  claims 
near  the  townsite. 

Colonel  D.  H.  Robertson  was  a  very  promi- 
nent character  in  St.  Paul  at  that  time  and  was 
the  editor  and  publisher  of  "The  Democrat," 
the  most  influential  paper  in  the  territory. 
Being    a   member   of   the    townsite    company    he 


gave  much  publicity  to  the  Blue  Earth  region 
in  his  paper,  and  the  influence  which  he  and 
Henry  Jackson  exerted  in  behalf  of  the  new 
settlement  was  of  great  value.  Largely  through 
them  the  steamer  Tiger  was  induced  to  make  a 
trip  to  Mankato,  where  she  arrived  on  April 
23rd,  1852,  with  a  number  of  settlers  and  a 
quantity  of  goods  and  provisions.  Both  Robert- 
son and  Jackson  held  licenses  to  trade  with  the 
Sioux,  and  the  latter  brought  with  him  on  this 
first  boat  a  small  stock  of  Indian  goods,  to  start 
a  trading  post  in  charge  of  Mr.  Johnson.  On 
1he  28th  of  the  same  month  the  Tiger  left  St. 
Paul  for  her  second  trip  up  the  Minnesota, 
crowded  with  passengers  and  freight,  mostly  for 
Mankato.  The  townsite  company  had  some 
weeks  prior  purchased  and  sent  up  to  be  used 
in  developing  their  property  a  span  of  mules, 
relics  of  the  Mexican  war.  The  logs  were  hauled 
for  three  or  four  small  cabins,  a  boat  landing 
constructed,  and  the  brush  cleared.  Jackson 
had  brought  with  him  on  the  first  boat,  as  em- 
ployees of  the  company,  a  Mr.  Blair  and  Mr. 
James  Rablin.  On  the  second  boat  Mrs.  James 
Rablin  arrived,  being  the  first  white  woman  to 
settle  in  Mankato,  or  even  Blue  Earth  county. 
The  second  cabin  on  the  townsite  was  erected 
on  block  three  (3),  about  one  hundred  feet 
north  of  the  Hubbard  Flour  mill  and  about  the 
same  distance  west  of  Front  street.  It  was 
bailt  with  more  care  than  the  first.  In  size 
about  13x14  feet,  and  high  enough  so  that  a 
man  could  stand  upright  in  it,  without  hitting 
his  head  against  the  joists.  It  had  a  window 
and  a  door,  and  a  roof  of  slabs  or  clapboards. 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Rablin  were  put  in  possession  of 
tiiis  second  shanty,  and  here  about  the  entire 
population  of  Mankato  boarded  during  this  first 
summer. 

About  the  30th  of  May  the  Tiger  arrived  at 
Mankato  on  her  third  trip,  bringing  a  number 
of  passengers  and  another  quantity  of  freight. 
Among  the  passengers  at  this  time  came  Gen- 
eral Samuel  Leech,  a  man  of  some  prominence 
and  means  of  Warsaw,  Illinois,  who  had  been 
the  first  Receiver  of  the  Stillwater  Land  office. 
He  was  so  favorably  impressed  with  Mankato 
and  its  surrounding  country  that  he  bought  the 


38  HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 

interest  of  Daniel  Williams  in  the  townsite  com-  In  May  of  this  year  the  company  had  their 
pany,  paying  $200.00  therefor.  He  proved  a  town  surveyed  and  platted  by  S.  P.  Polsom,  a 
valuable  acquisition  to  the  embryo  city.  civil  engineer  of  St.  Paul. 


CHAPTER  VI. 


EVENTS  AT  MANKATO  IS  THE  SUMMEE 
OE  1853. 


During  the  spring  of  1852  most  of  the  land 
lying  in  the  valley  of  the  Minnesota,  between 
Mankato  and  Kasota,  was  staked  out  into  160 
acre  claims  and  occupied  by  settlers.  On  the 
first  of  June  two  young  men  of  St.  Paul  named 
Josiah  B.  and  Henry  S.  Gump  had  located  on 
160  acres  next  adjoining  the  townsite  of  Man- 
ki'.to  on  the  northeast,  where  are  now  situated 
Mankato  city  and  the  stone  quarries.  Before 
they  had  hardly  completed  their  log  cabin,  on 
the  26th  of  the  same  month  the  Gump  boys  sold 
their  claim  to  a  very  prominent  real  estate  man 
of  St.  Paul,  named  Henry  McKenty.  On  the 
8th  of  this  same  June  the  name  of  the  river 
which  heretofore  had  been  the  "St.  Peter"  was 
officially  changed  by  act  of  Congress  to  the 
"Minnesota."  The  bill  was  introduced  by  Hon. 
Stephen  A.  Douglass  as  chairman  of  Committee 
on  Territories,  and  was  in  response  to  a  mem- 
orial for  the  change  which  the  Legislature  of 
Mianesota  had  sent  to  Congress.  The  real  in- 
stigators of  the  change,  it  is  claimed,  were 
Martin  McLeod  and  H.  H.  Sibley,  who  were 
familiar  with  the  ancient  Indian  name,  whose 
poetic  meaning  and  euphony  they  admired. 

The  Tiger  after  her  third  trip,  having  with- 
drawn from  the  Minnesota  trade,  the  Black 
Hawk  was  induced  to  enter  it.  She  left  St. 
Paul  on  her  first  trip  on  July  3rd,  1852,  with 
forty  passengers  aboard,  fifteen  of  whom  were 
booked  for  Mankato.  Among  the  latter  was 
Colonel  D.  A.  Eobertson.  Near  the  Carver  Eap- 
ids  they  passed  a  keel  boat  carrying  up  the  ma- 
chinery for  J.  W.  Babeock's  saw  mill  at  Kasota. 
The  boat  reached  Mankato  on  the  morning  of 
July  5th,  Just  as  the  young  town  was  recovering 
from  its  first  celebration  of   Independence  Day. 


There  had  been  a  large  attendance  at  this  jubilee 
of  native  Americans,  from  the  villages  of  Sleepy 
Eye,  Bed  Iron  and  Suntu  mahnaduta.  P.  K. 
Johnson  mounted  on  a  dry  goods  box  had  read 
the  immortal  Declaration,  and  made  a  spread 
eagle  speech,  all  of  which  has  been  duly  inter- 
preted by  Evans  Goodrich  to  the  copper  hued 
democracy  about  them. 

In  those  pioneer  days,  however,  the  arrival  of 
a  steamboat  was  a  greater  event  than  any  Fourth 
of  July,  no  matter  how  glorious.  Though  a 
thunder  shower  was  in  full  swing,  when  the 
Black  Hawk  approached  the  Mankato  levee  and, 
the  deep  tones  of  her  whistle  startled  the  echoes 
far  and  near,  it  did  not  deter  a  single  person 
v/ithin  a  radius  of  three  miles  from  being  pres- 
ent at  the  landing.  The  occupants  of  every 
shanty  and  every  wigwam  were  there,  a  motley, 
eager  throng. 

Colonel  Eobertson  remained  for  some  days  at 
the  new  town  exploring  the  country  around  it, 
and  consulting  with  its  resident  proprietors  as  to 
ifc-i  welfare. 

One  immediate  need,  to  which  attention  was 
then  particularly  drawn,  was  a  highway  to  the 
east  over  which  emigrants  might  come  into  the 
country.  Only  a  week  or  two  before  six  emi- 
grant families  from  Dubuque,  Iowa,  had  come 
in  their  wagons,  drawn  by  oxen  across  the  coun- 
try. They  struck  the  Decoria  prairie,  but  missed 
the  old  dragoon  road  and,  in  the  bewilderment 
of  people  who  are  lost,  took  a  westerly  course, 
and  after  infinite  trouble  and  vexation  crossed 
the  net  work  of  deep  ravines  formed  by  the 
Big  Cobb,  the  Maple  and  the  Blue  Earth  rivers 
and  reached  the  present  site  of  South  Bend, 
whence    they    were    obliged    to    cross    the    Blue 


39 


40 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COTJNTY. 


Earth  a  second  time  to  get  to  Mankato.  The 
Kooky  Mountains  could  hardly  furnish  a  rougher, 
wilder  bit  of  country  than  that  which  they 
traversed,  and  to  say  that  they  had  a  strenuous 
time  is  putting  it  mildly.  The  party  spent  a 
few  days  at  Mankato  recuperating  and  while 
there  plowed  a  garden  for  P.  K.  Johnson  and 
one  or  two  others,  probably  the  first  plowing  in 
Blue  Earth  county.  They  finally  located  upon 
claims  near  Kasota, 

During  his  Mankato  visit  Colonel  Robertson 
met  there  John  M.  Norecong,  who,  with  two 
others,  had  been  sent  by  the  colony  at  Rolling 
Stone  near  Winona,  to  spy  the  land,  with  a 
view  to  locate  a  highway  from  there  to  a  point 
on  the  Minnesota  at  or  near  the  mouth  of  the 
Blue  Earth.  They  met  with  no  obstacle  until 
they  struck  the  Big  Woods  in  the  vicinity  of 
Waseca.  When  they  became  hopelessly  entangled 
in  the  labyrinth  of  swamps  and  lakes  forming 
the  headwaters  of  the  Le  Sueur  and  Cannon 
rivers,  between  Smith's  Mill  and  Elysian.  Mr. 
Norecong  finally  reached  Mankato,  while  his 
two  companions  found  themselves  at  Traverse 
des  Sioux.  Colonel  Robertson  now  concluded 
to  accompany  Mr.  Norecong  in  his  quest  for  a 
feasible  highway  route  in  and  out  of  Mankato 
to  the  east  and  south.  One  of  the  mules  be- 
longing to  the  townsite  company  had  died,  some 
claimed  he  had  been  carried  away  by  the  mos- 
quitoes. So  Robertson  packed  on  the  remaining 
mule  a  camping  outfit  and  some  provisions,  and 
on  July  10th  started  on  foot  with  Norecong  by 
the  old  dragoon  road.  Cfossing  the  Le  Sueur 
they  soon  reached  the  Decoria  prairie  and,  turn- 
ing eastward  by  the  way  of  McPherson  and 
Wilton,  discovered  a  very  practicable  wagon  route 
to  any  point  east  or  south.  As  Robertson  wished 
to  return  to  St.  Paul,  they  followed  the  valley 
of  the  Cannon  in  a  northeasterly  direction  and 
after  eight  days  of  adventure  and  hardship  they 
reached   St.   Paul. 

As  a  result  of  this  exploration  Messrs.  Reed, 
Thompson  and  Kennedy  about  a  month  later, 
under  a  commission  from  the  State  Legislature 
granted  the  previous  winter,  with  the  aid  of 
a  corps  of  surveyors  and  assistants,  laid  out  a 
public    highway    from    Reed's    Landing    at    the 


foot  of  Lake  Pepin  to  Mankato  along  the  route 
suggested  by  our  explorers.  A  little  later  a  road 
was  established  from  Winona,  which  entered 
Mankato  by  the  same  route  through  Wilton  and 
tlie  present  village  of  St.  Clair,  and  for  more 
than  twenty  years  thereafter  the  principal  travel 
to  and  from  Mankato  and  Blue  Earth  County 
east  was  along  this  route.  Speaking  of  this  visit 
in  the  "Democrat"  Robertson  stated  that  he 
foimd  some  thirty  settlers  located  upon  claims 
around  Manltato  and  that  a  number  of  Germans 
had  settled  in  the  timber  back  of  the  town. 

On  the  12th  and  again  on  the  21st  of  July, 
the  Black  Hawk  left  St.  Paul  for  her  second 
and  third  trips  to  Mankato,  carrying  thence 
each  time  many  passengers  and  much  freight. 
On  the  20th  of  the  same  month  the  Tiger  re- 
turned to  the  Minnesota  and  made  her  third 
trip  to  Mankato.  With  six  boat  arrivals  at  her 
wharf  the  very  first  season,  Mankato  and  the 
country  in  her  vicinity  received  quite  a  boom. 

During  the  summer  (185^)  P.  K.  Johnson 
built  for  himself  on  lot  1  block  14  of  Mankato 
a  comfortable  house  of  hewn  logs,  into  which 
he  removed  his  store.  His  stock  of  goods  com- 
prised as  advertised  in  the  "St.  Paul  Democrat," 
"clothing,   crockery  and  groceries." 

Later  in  the  fall  Henry  Jackson  erected  a 
good  house  of  hewn  logs  on  lot  5  of  block  14, 
which  he  occupied  with  his  family  the  next 
spring.  The  same  fall  Colonel  Robertson  had  a 
log  store  building  put  up  on  lot  4  block  15, 
the  interior  of  which  was  finished  by  Hiram  J. 
Puller  on  his  arrival  in  November.  Here  Evans 
Goodrich  presided  over  a  stock  of  Indian  goods 
furnished  by  Robertson,  and  performed  besides 
the  duties  pertaining  to  his  various  avocations  of 
real  estate  dealer,  surveyor  and  Justice  of  the 
peace.  Early  in  October  of  this  same  year, 
James  Hanna,  George  Maxfield,  Milton  Hanna, 
James  Maxfield  and  Wesley  Maxfield  located 
claims  of  IGO  acres  each  near  the  Le  Sueur  on 
the  highway  just  laid  out  by  Messrs.  Reed, 
1'hompson  and  Kennedy,  and  then  returned  to 
tlicir  homes  in  Licking  County,  Ohio,  for  their 
families.  Besides  those  already  named  the  year 
1853  witnessed  the  settling  at  Mankato  or  im- 
mediate vicinity  of  M.  H.  Bergholz,  John  Sehroe- 


HISTOBY  OF  BLtTE  EAHTH  COtJNTY. 


41 


der,  John  Trenhauser,  Ephraim  Colej  Lewis  H. 
YVinsloWj  Minard  Mills,  James  Hanna  and  many 
others  whose  names  we  did  not  learn  and  others 
v/ho  did  not  remain  but  a  short  time. 

About  December,  1853,  the  townsite  company 
contracted  with  Windslow  to  build  a  large  frame 
hotel,  the  same  afterwards  known  as  the  "Man- 
kato  House."  He  sublet  the  contract  to  Minard 
Mills,  who  during  the  winter  got  ready  most  of 
the  frame  work,  and  on  March  14th,  1853, 
moved  with  his  wife  (afterwards  Mrs.  J.  LuUs- 
dorf)  to  the  new  town  and  occupied  the  second 
claim  shanty,  recently  vacated  by  James  Rablin. 
In  February,  1853,  Eobert  Wardlaw  with  his 
half  brother,  William  Wood,  arrived  with  a  small 
stock  of  goods,  having  come  upon  the  ice  of 
the  Mississippi  and  Minnesota  all  the  way,  in 
a  two  horse  sled,  from  Dubuque.  For  a  short 
time  they  occupied  the  first  claim  shanty,  which 
M.  H.  Bergholz  had  purchased  the  previous 
July,  but  on  the  return  of  the  owner  in  the 
spring,  Mr.  Wardlaw  removed  with  his  store  to 
a  claim  shanty  he  had  bought  of  Eablin  below 
town,  at  the  mouth  of  the  ravine,  which  still 
bears  his  name.  Connected  with  this  removal 
occurred  the  first  case  of  eviction  in  Blue  Earth 
County.  "WTien  Wardlaw  first  arrived  in  Man- 
kato  he  had  letters  of  introduction  from  friends 
in  St.  Paul  to  Evans  Goodrich,  and  the  latter 
received  him  into  his  cabin.  Soon  thereafter 
Goodrich  and  Wood  took  Wardlaw's  team  to  St. 
Paul  after  a  load  of  goods,  half  for  Goodrich 
and  half  for  Wardlaw.  Goodrich  had  left  Ward- 
law  in  charge  of  his  store  and  left  him  a  price 
list  of  the  goods  and  of  furs  so  he  might  trade 
with  the  Indians.  A  band  of  Indians  happened 
to  come  down  from  the  west  with  a  lot  of  furs 
and  instead  of  trading  with  Goodrich's  goods, 
Wardlaw  opened  up  his  own  stock  and  traded 
with  them.  When  Goodrich  returned  and  dis- 
covered this,  a  quarrel  resulted  between  him 
and  Wardlaw,  and  the  latter  had  to  seek  new 
quarters.  In  the  fall  Bergholtz,  owner  of  the 
lirst  claim  shanty,  went  to  St.  Paul  for  the 
vanter,  leaving  the  key  of  his  cabin  with  Mr. 
Johnson. 

Wardlaw  now  coaxed  Johnson  to  let  him  into 
Bergholtz    shanty,   which   he   finally   did   on   the 


promise  that  he  would  vacate  same  at  once 
when  the  owner  returned.  Bergholtz  got  back 
three  or  four  weeks-  later  and  found  his  cabin 
occupied  by  a  stranger,  who  refused  him  admit- 
tance. He  went  to  see  Johnson  about  it,  but 
Wardlaw  declared  he  had  no  other  place  to  go 
tu,  and  therefore  could  not  vacate;  that  he  was 
entitled  to  a  reasonable  notice  before  he  could 
be  forced  out.  Johnson  reminded  him  on  what 
condition  he  had  been  let  into  the  building,  and 
that  he  might  have  built  a  cabin  of  his  own  had 
lie  made  the  effort.  Wardlaw  declared  he  intended 
to  hold  the  fort  and  would  fight  if  necessary, 
pointing  to  a  couple  of  pistols  in  his  belt. 
Johnson  now  went  after  Jim  Eablin,  a  dare 
dtvil  fellow,  who  enjoyed  a  fight  better  than 
anything  else  under  the  sun,  unless  it  was  a 
drink  of  whisky.  Bergholtz,  Johnson,  Goodrich 
and  Eablin  now  proceeded  to  evict  Wardlaw. 
The  latter  saw  them  coming  and  locking  the 
cabin  door,  stood  in  front  with  two  revolvers 
to  await  the  attack.  Eablin  picked  up  a  fence 
rail,  and,  while  the  others  were  parleying  with 
Wardlaw,  he  broke  in  the  cabin  door  with  a 
single  blow.  Seeing  his  bluff  would  not  work, 
V.'ardlaw  declared  he  did  not  wish  to  live  among 
such  lawless  people,  and  he  moved  into  a  tent 
he  had  brought  with  him.  A  few  days  later 
he  bought  Jim  Eablin's  claim  and  moved  upon 
it  as  before  stated. 

Another  episode  of  that  first  winter  will 
help  to  illustrate  life  in  our  new  town.  Minard 
Mills-  had  been  up  and  down  the  river  with  a 
pony  and  sled  trading  with  the  Indians.  One 
day  in  February,  1853,  he  drove  up  to  the 
levee  at  jMankato  with  a  load  of  goods,  on  top 
of  which  in  plain  view  was  a  five  gallon  keg 
of  whisky.  The  Indians  soon  caught  sight  of 
the  keg  and  began  gathering  around  the  sled. 
Several  of  the  savages  had  a  desperate  craving 
for  liquor  and  when  inflamed  by  it  were  wholly 
unmanageable  and  dangerous.  Johnson  saw  there 
was  trouble  brewing  and  after  a  few  words  with 
Mills  seized  the  keg,  which  fortunately  was 
nearly  empty,  and  took  it  to  his  shanty  and  hid 
it  under  the  counter.  It  would  have  been  wiser 
to  have  emptied  the  liquor  on  the  ground,  but 
perhaps   the  whites   deemed   it   too   precious   for 


42 


HISTORY  OF  BLtTE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


that.  The  Indians  soon  came  to  Johnson's  cabin 
and  demanded  the  liquor.  Being  refused  two  of 
them  sprang  over  the  counter  and  seized  the 
keg  and  carried  it  off  in  triumph.  Noah  Arm- 
strong, who  was  clerking  for  Johnson^  started  to 
draw  a  knife,  but  was  cautioned  by  Johnson  to 
desist.  Luckily  there  was  not  enough  whisky 
to  make  any  Indian  drunk. 


The  Indian  chiefs  came  to  town  to  complain 
about  the  whites  letting  their  young  men  have 
liquor,  which  was  contrary  to  law.  It  cost  the 
Mankato  traders  ten  dollars  worth  of  goods  to 
pacify  the  chiefs,  so  they  would  not  make  com- 
plaint to  the  government. 


CHAPTER  VII. 


BLUE    EAETH    COUNTY    CEBATED— ITS 
PEIOR  POLITICAL  HISTOEY. 


On  Februajy  14th,  1853,  Congress  ratified  the 
important  treaties  of  Traverse  des  Sioux  and 
Mendota,  whereby  the  Indian  title  to  all  lands 
in  Blue  Earth  County  and  in  all  the  state  west 
of  the  Mississippi  and  south  of  St.  Cloud  and 
Morehead  was  extinguished. 

On  March  5th,  1853,  the  County  of  Blue 
Earth  was  created  by  ah  act  of  the  Territorial 
Legislature,  it  embraced  all  of  the  State  of 
Minnesota  south  of  the  Minnesota  river,  except 
the  counties  of  Wabasha,  Dakota,  Goodhue,  Eice, 
Scott,  Pilmore  and  that  portion  of  Le  Sueur 
which  lies  east  and  north  of  Wi  -  Wi  Creek  op- 
posite St.  Peter. 

Truly  our  county  at  birth  was  of  goOdly  size 
and  fair  to  look  upon.  No  land  on  earth  more 
richly  endowed  in  productive  qualities.  None 
more  full  of  promise  to  the  homeseeker.  It 
may  be  well  to  give  the  political  history  of  our 
county  to  this  point.  The  first  civilized  nation 
to  claim  its  soil  was  Prance,  and  we  have  seen 
how  Le  Sueur  in  1700,  by  permission  of  the 
French  government  built  Port  Le  Huillier  in 
our  county  and  prospected  for  copper.  French 
traders  also  carried  on  a  brisk  trade  in  furs 
with  the  Indians  of  our  county  in  those  days  of 
long  ago. 

In  1763  the  French  at  a  secret  treaty  sold 
their  old  Louisiana  Territory,  to  which  our 
county  belonged,  to  Spain.  The  matter  was 
kept  a  secret  for  some  time  and  Spain  did  not 
take  possession  until  1769.  The  Spanish  domi- 
nation however,  was  very  feeble  and  did  not  ef- 
fect the  northern  end  of  the  territory  in  the 
least.  It  is  not  probable  that  a  single  Spaniard 
even  saw  the  portion  of  the  territory  embraced 
in  the  present  state  of  Minnesota.     October  1st, 


1800,  at  another  secret  treaty  Spain  sold  back  to 
Prance  her  Louisiana  Territory,  and  our  county 
became  a  part  of  the  dominion  of  Napoleon 
Bonaparte.  It  did  not  so  remain  but  a  short 
time,  for  Napoleon,  fearing  that  the  territory 
might  fall  a  prey  to  Great  Britain,  on  June 
30th,  1803,  sold  it  to  the  United  States.  It 
continued  under  its  old  name  of  "Province  of 
Louisiana"  until  March  26th,  1804,  when  by 
Act  of  Congress,  the  portion  now  embraced  in 
the  present  State  of  Louisiana,  was  created  into 
the  Province  of  Orleans,  and  the  vast  remainder, 
of  which  our  county  was  part,  was  designated 
"District  of  Louisiana"  and  attached  to  the  Ter- 
ritory of  Indiana  for  administrative  purposes, 
with  seat  of  government  at  Vincennes  on  the 
Wabash.  On  June  4th,  1813,  the  District  of 
Louisiana  was  erected  into  the  Territory  of  Mis- 
souri. We  remained  a  part  of  Missouri  until 
June  28th,  1834,  when  all  the  lands  west  of 
the  Mississippi  and  north  of  the  Missouri  river 
became  a  part  of  the  Territory  of  Michigan. 
Here  we  continued  until  April  10th,  1836, 
when  the  territory  of  Wisconsin  was  created,  of 
wliich  we  were  made  part.  Here  we  belonged 
until  June  12th,  1838,  when  the  Territory  of 
Iowa  was  formed  and  we  were  included  within 
its  boundaries.  Here  we  came  very  near  finding 
our  permanent  home.  At  the  convention  which 
met  October  17th;  1844,  to  form  a  State  Con- 
stitution the  proposed  north  boundary  adopted 
for  the  New  State  was  a  straight  line  from  the 
mouth  of  the  Big  Sioux  Eiver  to  the  mouth  of 
the  Blue  Earth  river  and  thence  down  the  Min- 
nesota river  to  its  mouth.  This  took  in  nearly 
all  of  Blue  Earth  County. 

Congress,    however,    was    unwilling    to    allow 


43 


44 


HISTOEY  OP  BLtTE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


Iowa  so  much  territory^  as  it  wished  to  reserve 
enough  to  form  another  northern  state.  So 
thu  bill  for  its  admission  was  amended  fixing 
vhe  line  between  ranges  29  and  30  as  its  west 
b<  undary  and  the  Minnesota  river  as  its  north 
boundary.  This  put  the  whole  of  our  county 
into  Iowa,  forming  its  northwest  corner.  The 
people  of  Iowa  were  much  dissatisfied  with  this 
abridgment  of  their  territory  and  the  position 
of  Des  Moines,  with  reference  to  the  long  narrow 
strip  proposed,  was  unfavorable  for  retention 
of  the  capitol. 

When  therefore  the  amended  bill  came  back 
to  the  people  for  ratification  it  was  defeated  by 
a  small  majority.  A  compromise  was  at  last 
effected  and  Iowa  finally  admitted  on  March 
3rd,  1845,  with  its  present  boundaries.  The 
land  to  the  north  and  east  of  the  Mississippi 
of  which  our  county  was  part,  was  thus  cut 
ofE  from  any  government. 

On  the  admission  of  Wisconsin  May  29th, 
1848,  as  a  state,  the  portion  of  our  state  lying 
between  the  St.  Croix  and  the  Mississippi  was 
also  left  in  the  same  condition.  The  initial 
iiieeting,  for  organizing  the  two  remnants  thus 
severed,  into  a  new  territory,  was  held  at  the 
trading  post  of  our  old  friend  Henry  Jackson, 
ai  St.  Paul  in  July,  1848,  which  was  the  first 
public  meeting  held  in  Minnesota.  Pinally 
through  the  efl:orts  of  H.  H.  Sibley  an  act  of 
Congress  was  passed  on  March  3rd,  1849,  creat- 
ing the  Territory  of  Minnesota. 

Thus  after  being  outside  of  the  pale  of  gov- 
ernment for  four  years  to  a  day  we  were  restored 
again  to  an  organized  state.  The  further  changes 
in  the  political  annals  of  our  county,  after  its 
creation  as  a  separate  municipal  body,  will  ap- 
pear more  properly  as  we  proceed  with  our 
narrative. 

The  winter  of  1852-3  was  quite  cold  and 
tlie  snow  deep.  The  spring  freshets  conse- 
quently were  high,  and  the  Minnesota  in  tlie 
early  part  of  April  was  over  all  its  banks.  The 
first  boat  for  Mankato  was  the  Greek  Slave, 
■(vhich  left  St.  Paul  on  the  4th  day  of  April. 
She  was  a  newly  built  side  wheeler,  with  pow- 
erful boilers,  a  fine  cabin,  and  well  equipped  for 
passengers  and  freight.     Her  captain  and  owner 


was  Louis  Robert,  destined  to  become  one  of 
the  most  prominent  river  men  in  Minnesota. 
On  this  her  first  trip  the  Slave  carried  in  addi- 
tion to  a  big  load  of  freight,  150  passengers, 
many  of  whom  were  bound  for  Mankato,  and 
the  Blue  Earth  country,  where  on  April  7th, 
they  arrived. 

Another  new  boat  to  enter  the  Minnesota 
river  trade  this  spring  was  the  Clarion.  She 
was  a  small  boat  of  seventy-two  and  one-half  tons 
burden,  owned  by  Captain  Samuel  Humbertson. 
She  at  once  began  making  trips  to  the  Blue 
Earth  country.  Early  in  April,  1853,  Edwin 
Perkins  of  St.  Paul  was  appointed  the  first 
Eegister  of  Deeds  of  Blue  Earth  County,  and 
on  April  14th,  he  recorded  his  first  deed  in  the 
new  county.  It  seems,  when  appointed  to  the 
office,  Perkins  intended  to  locate  immediately 
at  Mankato  City,  a  new  town  which  Henry 
McKenty  had  just  laid  out  on  the  stone  quarry 
bench,  as  a  rival  to  Mankato.  The  recordtug  of 
the  plat  of  this  new  townsite  was  one  of  Per- 
kins' first  ofl^icial  acts. 

Plenry  McKenty  was  an  eccentri.c  character, 
with  much  of  the  typical  western  in  his  make- 
up, a  mixture  of  energy,  daring  and  bluster. 
Since  purchasing  his  claim  the  previous  sum- 
mer, he  had  been  greatly  bothered  by  claim 
jumpers,  and  had  been  obliged  to  buy  out  suc- 
cessively three  of  four  different  claimants,  and 
]:is  patience  was  completely  exhausted.  So  when 
he  came  up  on  the  first  boat  in  the  spring  of 
1853,  he  was  armed  with  two  big  revolvers  and 
brought  with  him  a  coffin,  with  the  avowed  pur- 
pose of  taking  the  next  jumper  back  in  it.  As 
yet  the  government  had  made  no  survey  of  the 
ci/untry  and  there  were  no  definite  lines  to  go 
by,  and  much  confusion  resulted  as  to  boundar- 
ies of  the  various  claimants.  To  avoid  any  such 
difficulty  as  to  his  claim,  McKenty  had  posts 
eight  to  ten  feet  high  planted  at  its  four  cor- 
ners, with  a  number  of  posts  almost  as  large 
put  at  intervals  to  mark  the  lines.  Mr.  Mc- 
Kenty being  in  the  real  estate  business  at  St. 
Paul  and  a  great  hustler,  worked  up  quite  an 
interest  in  his  townsite,  and  the  sale  of  lots  in 
Mankato  City  during  the  spring  and  summer  of 
1853  was  vei-y  brisk.     About  May,  Edwin  Howe 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


45 


opened  a  hotel  there,  which  he  called  the  "Man- 
kato  City  Hotel."  It  was  a  fair  sized  log  house 
but  quite  bare  of  furniture.  Each  guest  as  a 
rule  had  to  provide  his  own  bed  and  bedding. 
There  were  no  partitions.  The  men  slept  in  the 
attic  and  the  woman  down  stairs.  The  first 
blacksmith  shop  in  ilankato  or  even  Blue  Earth 
County,  was  started  by  Josiah  Keene  in  "j\Ic- 
Kenty's  Town,"  as  ilankato  City  was  then  gen- 
erally called. 

A  native  of  Maine,  young  Keene  had  arrived 
at  the  new  townsite  almost  at  its  birth.  He  was 
very  fond  of  music  and  spent  about  as  much 
time  with  his  violin  as  with  his  anvil,  for  cus- 
tomers were  not  numerous. 

The  original  townsite  of  Jlankato  in  the 
meantime  had  been  growing.  On  Itarch  14th, 
1853,  Minard  Mills  had  brought  his  wife  (after- 
wards Mrs.  Lullsdorff)  to  the  new  town  and  es- 
tablished there  his  home.  He  began  prepara- 
tions at  once  for  the  erection  of  a  frame  ware- 
house at  the  south  end  of  the  levee,  just  a  few 
feet  south  of  where  tlie  city  hall  now  stands. 
The  river  at  that  time  was  situated  about  the 
rear  of  that  building.  Mr.  Mills  had  the  frame 
of  his  warehouse  up  and  the  structure  ready  for 
shingling,  when  on  April  IGth,  James  Hanna 
and  George  Maxfield  with  three  or  four  of  their 
oldest  sons  arrived.  Both  had  very  large  fami- 
lies of  sons  and  daughters,  nearly  all  full  grown, 
tv,'enty-six  souls  in  both  families,  ilessrs.  Hanna 
and  Maxfield  were  perplexed  to  find  immediate 
shelter  for  their  large  households,  the  balance 
of  whom  were  waiting  at  St.  Paul.  ]\rr.  Hanna, 
therefore,  bought  the  warehouse  of  Mills,  and 
he  and  Maxfield  hastily  completed  it,  and  occu- 
pied it  with  their  families. 

Two  main  events  in  the  history  of  our  state 
in  1853  were  the  removal  of  the  Sioux  to  their 
aLcneies  and  the  establishment  of  Fort  Eidgely, 
about  forty  miles  above  Mankato,  on  the  Min- 
nesota. All  the  material  and  supplies  required 
for  the  fort  and  about  half  of  the  garrison  had 
to  be  transported  by  boats  up  the  Jlinnesota. 
I^he  West  Newton  secured  the  contract  for  car- 
rying the  troops  and  their  baggage,  and  about 
the  last  of  April  she,  together  with  the  Tiger 
and    Clarion,    each   having   two    or   three   barges 


in  tow  loaded  with  lumber,  passed  by  Maukato 
on  their  way  to  the  new  fort.  A  letter  written 
under 'date  of  April  29th,  1853,  on  board  the 
West  Newton  gives  many  interesting  glimpses 
of  the  country  and  its  people.  Among  other 
things  it  tells  of  the  Indians  gathering  from  the 
eugar  bushes  into  Traverse  des  Sioux  and  Man- 
kato, many  of  them  very  sick  from  gorging 
themselves  on  maple  sugar;  it  speaks  of  meet- 
ing at  Traverse,  George  McLeod,  who  had  just 
ai  rived  from  Lac  qui  Parle  in  a  huge  canoe 
twenty-four  feet  long  by  forty-four  inches  wide, 
made  from  a  single  cottonwood  tree,  in  which 
he  had  brought  forty  bushels  of  potatoes,  be- 
sides a  crew  of  five  men;  Kasota  then  was  in 
Blue  Earth  County,  and  our  correspondent  states 
tljat  J.  W.  Babcock  had  just  started  his  new 
saw  mill  on  Tchankaska  (AVood  tying)  creek, 
two  weeks  before.  It  had  an  overshot  water 
vi'heel  for  power,  a  muley  saw,  and  its  capacity 
was  about  8,000  feet  of  lumber  per  day.  Ka- 
sota townsite  was  then  full  of  great  expectations. 
A  railroad  from  Dubuque  was  headed  straight 
for  the  town  and  was  sure  to  reach  it  by  next 
summer.  There  was  no  other  place  where  a 
railroad  could  conveniently  cross  the  Minnesota 
river.  There  was  no  question,  but  here  was 
,t;(iing  to  be  the  second  largest  city  in  the  Min- 
nesota valley.  Second  of  course  to  Traverse 
des  Sioux,  which  was  then  generally  supposed 
to  have  the  lead  for  the  first  place.  Our  cor- 
respondent seemed  to  have  been  carried  away 
with  such  delusions  until  he  reached  jMankato 
City.  But  ^\'hen  ilcKenty  and  his  boomers  had 
showed  him  the  prospects  of  the  city  whose 
foundations  were  literally  on  the  rock,  the 
scales  fell  from  his  eyes,  and  he  was  completely 
dazzled  by   its   future  magnificence. 

On  May  4th,  the  Mankato  Townsite  company 
cnncelled  the  contract  they  had  made  the  pre- 
vious November  with  Lewis  F.  Windslow,  to 
build  the  Mankato  House,  and  Samuel  Leech 
n-as  appointed  to  superintend  its  construction. 
During  the  winter,  Minard  Mills,  who  had  a 
subcontract  from  Windslow,  had  the  sills  and 
most  of  the  frame  hewed  from  the  native  forest 
and  hauled  on  the  gnmnd.  General  Ijcech  now 
had  most  of  the  mill  work  for  the  building  done 


46 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


at^  St.  Paul  and  shipped  same  with  the  pine 
lumber  necessary  and  some  workmen  by  boat  to 
Mankato.  The  building  was  raised  on  July 
Gth,  and  enclosed  and  doors  and  windows  hung 
that  season  and  the  stairway  built.  It  was  a 
two  story  frame  thirty-two  feet  by  twenty-four 
feet  with  a  one  story-  wing  sixteen  feet  by 
twenty-four  feet,  and  stood  where  the  present 
Xational  Citizens  bank  block  stands  on  corner 
of  Front  and  Hickory  streets. 

It  was  a  very  pretentious  building  in  its  day, 
and  for  many  years  was  the  center  of  much  of 
the  public  activities  of  both   city  and  county. 

The  spring  and  summer  of  1853  were  ex- 
ceptionally wet  and  cold.  On  May  12th  there 
was  a  big  snow  storm,  which  covered  the  ground 
six  to  eight  inches  in  depth,  and  sundogs  were 
visible. 

On  May  27th,  Henry  Jackson  located  in  Man- 
kato with  his  family,  occupying  their  new  log 
house  on  lot  5  block  14.  About  the  same  time 
the  Hanna  and  Maxfield  families  arrived  and 
took  up  their  abode  in  the  new  frame  structure 
at  the  south  end  of  the  levee.  These  two  fam- 
ilies had  been  religiously  trained  in  their  Ohio 
home  and  about  June  3rd,  1853,  Mr.  Ilanna 
started  a  Sunday  school  at  his  home,  the  con- 
duct of  which  devolved  mostly  on  his  energetic 
daughter,  Sarah  J.  Hanna,  afterwards  Mrs.  J. 
Q.  A.  Marsh.  This  was  the  first  service  of  a 
religious  character  in  the  county.  The  Sunday 
school  was  kept  up  thereafter  with  fair  regular- 
ity and  was  the  precursor  of  the  present  Pres- 
byterian Sunday  school  of  Mankato.  Of  late 
years  there  has  been  some  diversity  of  opinion 
a--  to  who  preached  the  first  sermon.  "When  the 
question  was  asked  in  a  lyceum  at  Mankato  in 
1857,  it  was  answered  without  a  dissenting  voice 
that  a  Rev.  Brown,  a  Presbyterian  preacher 
from  Cleveland,  Ohio,  was  the  man.  This  ver- 
dict, rendered  at  a  time  when  people  ought 
to  have  known  the  fact,  has  generally  been  ac- 
cepted by  a  majority  of  the  old  settlers.  The 
main  doubt  arises  from  the  fact  now  known, 
that  a  Rev.  Brown,  a  Presbyterian  minister  from 
Cleveland,  Ohio,  a  returned  missionary,  who 
came  to  Minnesota  in  quest  of  health,  visited 
Mankato   and   preached   at   Mr.    Hanna's   house, 


but  the  date  was  October  16th,  1853,  and  we 
also  know  that  two  sermons  at  least  had  been 
preached  before  that  date.  Mrs.  John  Q.  A. 
Marsh,  who  as  teacher  in  the  Sunday  school 
and  leader  in  the  choir,  was  present  and  had  a 
part  in  all  the  religious  meetings  of  that  year 
in  the  Mankato  settlement,  thought  that  Rev. 
Brown  paid  Mankato  two  visits,  one  in  the  spring 
and  the  other  in  October,  or  that  the  Rev.  Brown 
who  came  in  the  spring  was  a  brother  of  the 
Rev.  Brown  who  arrived  in  October.  In  the 
summer  of  1853,  Rev.  Chauncey  Hobert  was 
commissioned  by  the  M.  E.  Church  to  visit 
the  various  towns  of  the  Minnesota  valley  and 
secure  building  sites  for  M.  E.  chapelg.  In 
his  note  book  under  date  of  July  3rd,  1853,  he 
tells  of  visiting  Mankato  and  preaching  there  at 
Mr.  Hanna's  house,  the  first  sermon  heard  in 
the  new  town.  In  his  memoirs  Rev.  Julius  S. 
Webber,  a  Baptist  minister,  states  that  he  vis- 
ited Mankato  on  September  25th,  1853,  and 
preached  the  first  sermon  there  at  Mr.  Hanna's 
home.  Mrs.  0.  Pitcher,  a  daughter  of  T.  D. 
Warren,  is  very  positive  that  Rev.  Norris  Hobert 
preached  the  first  sermon  on  June  12th,  1853. 
It  is  quite  probable  that  Mrs.  Pitcher's  memory 
has  got  the  two  Hoberts  mixed,  and  that  her 
recollection  relates  to  the  visit  of  Rev.  Chauncey 
Hobert  referred  to  above. 

About  the  first  of  June  of  this  year  Thomas 
D.  Warren  and  George  Van  Brunt  arrived  at 
jMankato,  followed  by  their  families  a  few  days 
later.  They '  located  on  seven  forties  of  land 
claimed  by  the  old  townsite  company,  being  the 
land  now  covered  by  the  Warren  and  Van  Brunt 
Additions  to  Mankato.  Henry  Jackson  brought 
suit,  against  Warren  for  jumping  his  land  be- 
fore  Squire  Mills.  This  was  probably  the  first 
law  suit  in  Blue  Earth  County.  The  action  was 
never  pressed,  as  there  were  no  lawyers  to 
carry  it  on,  and  it  soon  was  abandoned. 

On  June  11th,  1853,  the  first  marriage  in 
Blue  Earth  County  was  solemnized  before  Squire 
Jiills  at  Mankato,  the  contracting  parties  being 
Jacob  Guenther  and  Christiana  M.  Wischmeier. 
The  bride  came  to  Mankato  with  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Joseph  Fronert  from  Milwaukee,  where  she  and 
the  groom  first  met. 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


47 


The  only  other  marriage  recorded  in  the  coun- 
ty for  this  year  was  that  of  Hazen  Moores 
to  Mrs.  Ellen  Larkin,  which  occurred  at  Eed 
Wood  on  November  22nd,  1853,  and  at  which 
the  noted  Sioux  missionary,  Dr.  Thomas  S.  Wil- 
liamson officiated.  Eed  Wood  then  belonged  to 
our   county   as   we   have   seen. 

This  Hazen  Moores  was  a  famous  character 
whose  adventurous  life  was  spent  among  the 
Indians  and  traders  of  the  Minnesota  valley 
during  the  first  half   of  the  last  century. 

The  Minnesota  continued  navigable  during  the 
whole   summer   of   1853   and   several  boats  made 
regular  trips  to  Mankato.     On  her  trip  of  June 
29th   and   again   on   July   6th,   the    Clarion   left 
St.  Paul  with  150  passengers  on  board  each  time. 
The  other  boats  engaged  in  the  same  trade  this 
year  were  the  Tiger,  Black  Hawk,   Greek  Slave, 
West   Newton,   Humbolt,   lola    and    Shenandoah. 
In    all  there   were  forty-nine   arrivals    from    the 
Minnesota    at   the   port   of    St.    Paul    this   year. 
01'  the  multitude  of  homeseekers,  who  thronged 
these  boats,  or  who  on  foot  or  by  team  followed 
tlie  rough  Indian  trails,  Mankato   and  the  Blue 
Earth   country   received   their    share.      With   the 
Warren  and  Van  Brunt  families  came  Marshall 
T.    Comstock    and    James    Jlcilurtrie.    In    June 
Clements  Kron  and  Hoxie  Eathburn  arrived  with 
their  families.     About  the  same  time   came   Dr. 
Jeffrey  T.   Adams,  the   first  physician   to   locate 
in  Blue  Earth  County.     He  was  followed  July 
14th,  by  the  first  lawyer,  J.  McMahon  Holland, 
who  brought   in  his   pocket   a  commission   from 
the    Governor    appointing   him   the   first    County 
Attorney.     Among  many  other  arrivals  of  1853, 
vc   have    not   yet   mentioned    were :      Dr.    James 
W.  Heath,  Michael  Kaufman,  Henry  J.   Sontag, 
John  Brules,   George  W.  Lay,   Henry   Goodrich, 
Blassius   Yobst,   Michael   Syler,   John    Schroeder, 
James  M.  Ayers,   George  W.   Cummings,  George 
II.   Marsh,  Jared  Lewis,   Henry  Goodrich,   John 
C.  Taylor,  John  Henderson,  Basil  Moreland,   0. 
C.  Eedfield,  Benj.  Fritz,  Bernhard  Bruggernian,- 
Joseph  Frounert,  Levi  Kotthoff,  Martin  ]\Iettler, 
John    Fresholtz,    Byron    W.    Comstock,    B.    W. 
Stannard,  James  Talmadge,  Max  Freudle,  Chris- 
tian  Eoos,   Uriah   S.   Karmany   and   John    Fres- 
holtz. 


The  Legislative  Act  creating  the  County  of 
Blue  Earth  authorized  the  Governor  to  ap- 
pciint  the  first  officers.  We  have  already  noted 
the  appointment  of  Eegister  of  Deeds  and  Coun- 
ty Attorney.  Edwin  Perkins  after  serving  two 
months  concluded  not  to  move  to  Blue  Earth 
County  and  about  June  1st,  1853,  P.  K.  John- 
son was  appointed  Eegister  in  his  place,  and 
the  office  removed  from  St.  Paul  to  Jlr.  John- 
son's  home   in    Mankato. 

Early  in  July   a  school  was   started   at   Man- 
kato with  twenty-four   scholars,   taught  by   ]Miss 
Sarah    J.    Hanna    (the    late    Mrs.    John    Q.    A. 
Marsh.)      It    was    held    in    a    room    built    as    a 
wing  to  the  frame  warehouse,  which  Mr.  Hanna 
had  finished  as  a  dwelling,  and  which  wing  T. 
D.   Warren  had  occupied  for  a  short  time  as   a 
store.      During   the    same    month    Captain    Eeno 
v/ith  a  corps  of  United  States  engineers  surveyed 
through  the  county  a  military  road,  which   Con- 
gress had  ordered  to  be  laid  out  and  constructed 
between    Mendota    and    the    mouth    of    the    Big 
Sioux  river.     The  survey  was  begun  at  the  Big 
Sioiix    end    and    followed   in    the    main   the    In- 
dian trail.     It  entered  Blue  Earth  County  near 
its  southwestern  corner,  east  of  Perch  Lake,  and 
traversing    Pleasant    Mound    and    Ceresco    in    a 
nrrtherly    direction    it    passed    to    the    west    side 
of    Perch    Creek   near    the    Thurston    farm    and 
crossing  the  Watonwan  above  the  mouth  of  that 
creek  near  the  present  bridge   and  thence  keep- 
ing in  the  general  direction  of  the  North  Bluffs 
of   the   Watonwan   and  west   bluffs   of  the   Blue 
Earth    it    continued    in    a    northeasterly    course 
t]:rough    Garden    City    and    South    Bend    Town- 
sliips,  following  quite  closely  the  present  Garden 
City  and  Mankato  road.     The  first  survey  from 
Garden    City   to   Mankato   followed   the    old    In- 
dian trail  which  crossed  the  Blue  Earth  near  the 
Eapidan  Mill  and  the  Le  Sueur  near  its  mouth 
and  thence  to  Mankato  by  the  Eed  Jacket  val- 
ley,  but   this   route    was    so   rough    that   it   was 
abandoned,  and  the  way  by  Welsh  Lane,  Pigeon 
Hill  and  Village  of  South  Bend  adopted  instead. 
From    i^Iankato   the    survey    followed    practically 
the   present   highway   to    Kasota    and    thence   by 
what  was  known  as  the  Dodd  road  through  the 
Big    Woods.      The    laying    out    of   this    military 


48                                          HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAKTH  COUNTY. 

road  was  quite  an  event  in  the  history  of  the  cept   three   counties   in   the    Eed    river   country, 

coimty,  because  it  made  communication  with  St.  which  comprised  the  Third  District.     This  put 

Paul   much    easier,    and   by    bridging    the    Blue  Blue  Earth  in  the  Second  Judicial  District,  over 

Earth  made  the   country  to  the  west  more   ac-  which  Judge  Cooper  of  the  Supreme  Court  was 

cessible.  appointed  to  preside.     Eirst  term  for  Blue  Earth 

In  July  the  Governor  appointed  James  Hanna  County  was  appointed  for  the  first  Monday  in 

and  John   S.  Hinckley  of  Mankato   and  Joseph  October   of   that  ■  year,    and   annually   thereafter. 

W.   Babcock  of   Kasota  ■  as   the   First   Board   of  Accordingly  on  October  3rd,  1853,  the  first  term 

County  Commissioners.     This  board  first  met  on  of  the  District  Court  ever  held  in  Blue  Earth 

August  6th,  1853,  at  the  house  of  P.  K.  John-  County   convened    at   the   Mankato    House.     As 

son   in  block   14   of   Mankato   and   organized   by  there  was  no  business  to   transact,   it   adjourned 

electing    James    Hanna    chairman,    and    P.    K.  the  same  day. 

Johnson,  Clerk.  They  also  divided  the  county  On  August  37th,  was  held  the  first  political 
into  two  election  precincts,  all  south  of  claim  caucus  or  convention  in  the  county.  It  convened 
of  James  Eablin  being  designated,  "Mankato  at  Mankato  for  the  purpose  of  nominating  can- 
precinct,"  and  all  north,  "Babcock's  Mill  pre-  didates  for  county  ofl'ices.  Minard  Mills  was 
cinct,"  with  place  of  election  for  last  precinct  made  chairman  and  J.  McMahon  Holland  see- 
in  J.  W.  Babcock's  house  and  for  the  former  retary.  Dr.  P.  P.  Humphrey  was  the  nominee 
pi-ecinct,  the  New  Hotel.  The  judges  of  election  for  Judge  of  Probate,  J.  McMahon  Holland  for 
for  Mankato  precinct  were:  Henry  Jackson,  District  Attorney,  Basil  Moreland  for  Sheriff, 
Edwin  Howe  and  Jacob  Guenther;  and  for  Bab-  I*.  K.  Johnson  for  Eegister  of  Deeds,  Hiram 
cock's  Mill:  Eeuben  Butters,  C.  C.  Mack  and  Puller  for  Treasurer,  and  Ephraim  Cole,  Jos- 
Dr.  P.  P.  Humphrey.  The  first  grand  and  petit  eph  W.  Babcock  and  Jacob  Guenther  for  County 
jury  for  the  county  were  also,  drawn  at  this  Commissioners.  On  September  ISth,  a  special 
session,  and  comprised  the  following  persons:  meeting  of  the  County  Commissioners  convened 
Grand  juroi-s:  Lewis  P.  Windslow,  P.  K.  John-  at  P.  K.  Johnson's  house.  At  this  meeting 
son,  Evans  Goodrich,  Philip  Krummel,  Minard  Basil  Moreland  was  appointed  the  first  County 
Mills,  Edwin  Howe,-  Josiah  Keene,  James  Eablin,  Treasurer  and  Thomas  D.  Warren  was  made 
William  Wood,  Eobert  Wardlaw,  George  C.  Justice  of  the  Peace.  At  the  third  meeting  of 
C'lapp,  John  Henderson,  Hiram  Puller,  Thomas  the  Board  held  October  3rd,  the  salary  of  J. 
Lemaraux,  Joseph  Prounert,  John  B.  Harrison,  McMahon  Holland  as  County  Attorney  was  fixed 
Jared  Lewis,  Dr.  P.  P.  Humphrey,  C.  C.  Mack,  at  $100.00  per  annum.  James  Eablin  and 
Eeuben  Butters,  James  Lindsley,  Charles  Pettis,  Jared  Lewis  were  also  appointed  Judges  of 
John  C.  Durham  and  Philip  Snider.  Petit  Election  for  Babcock  precinct  instead  of  Mack 
Jurors:  George  M.  Van  Brunt,  Thos.  D.  War-  and  Humphrey.  On  October  11th  occurred  the 
ren,  Marshall  T.  Comstock,  M.  Gruntry,  Eph-  first  election  held  in  the  county  at  which  Man- 
raim  Cole,  George  Maxfield,  Basil  Moreland,  kt.to  precinct  cast  twenty-one  votes,  and  Kasota 
Henry  Goodrich,  Clements  Kron,  Michael  Lea-  precinct  ten  votes,  making  thirty-one  votes  in 
land,  Jeffrey  T.  Adams,'  I.  S.  Lyons,  M.  H.  all  in  the  county.  The  county  officers  elected 
Bergholtz,  John  ScliToeder,  John  (the  mason),  at  this  first  election  were:  Sheriff,  Basil  More- 
Jacob  Guenther,  Peter  Lano,  Charles  C.  Pettis,  land ;  Treasurer,  Hiram  Puller ;  Eegister  of 
Charles  Kirtmacher,  Thos.  Sparhawk,  William  Deeds,  P.  K.  Johnson;  Judge  of  Probate,  Min- 
Ehodes,  and  John  Gerheim.  ai'd    Mills;    District    Attorney,    Henry    Jackson; 

By  an  act  approved  March  5th,  1853,  the  Coroner,  Philip  Krummel;  Surveyor,  Daniel  L. 
Legislature  divided  the  territory  into  Judicial  Turpin;  County  Commissioners,  Ephraim  Cole, 
Districts.  All  counties  east  of  the  Mississippi  Joseph  W.  Babcock  and  Jacob  Guenther;  As- 
formed  the  First  District,  and  all  west  of  that  sessor,  Joseph  Prounert.  One  freak  of  this  first 
river  were  included  in  the  Second  District,  ex-  election  was  the  selection  of  Henry  Jackson  (who 


£^ 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


49 


did  not  pretend  to  know  anything  about  law)  as 
District  Attorney  by  22  votes  to  3  votes  for  J. 
McMahon  Holland,  the  only  lawyer  in  the 
county.  Holland -was  so  disgusted  with  the  re- 
sult that  he  soon  quit  the  country.  Most  of  the 
county  officers  elected  were  democrats  and  yet 
party  politics  does  not  seem  to  have  cut  much 
figure.  On  the  vote  for  Delegate  to  Congress, 
H.  M.  Eice,  then  democratic  nominee,  received 
seven  votes  to  eleven  for  Alexander  WilMn,  the 
Whig  nominee,  in  Mankato  precinct;  while 
Kasota  gave  nine  votes  to  Eice  and  one  for 
Wilkin. 

In  the  fall  of  1853  James  Hanna  erected  a 
frame  dwelling  on  lot  5  block  13  of  Mankato, 
just  in  the  rear  of  where  now  stands  the  First 
National  Bank  building.  Until  the  opening 
of  the  Mankato  House,  Mr.  Hanna's  home  be- 
came the  usual  stopping  place  at  Mankato  for 
strangers  other  than  Germans,  while  the  latter 
generally  made  the  log  cabin  of  Clements  Kron 
their  hostelry.  In  the  same  fall  Basil  Moreland 
put  up  a  frame  building  on  lot  2  block  6  of 
Mankato.  It  had  its  side  to  Front  street  and 
was  partitioned  into  two  parts.  The  northerly 
half  was  used  for  church,  lyceum,  Sunday  and 
day  school,  and  public  purposes  generally,  while 
the  southerly  half  generally  served  as  a  dwell- 
ing. 

Under  date  of  November  23nd,  18.53,  P.  K. 
Johnson  writes  to  a  St.  Paul  paper:  "Mankato 
has  about  20  families  and  the  precinct  about  100 
voters.  There  are  about  twenty  buildings  in 
the  village,  among  them  is  a  good  hotel  50x30 
with  wing.  The  village  has  a  school  with  24 
jrapils,  taught  by  Miss  Sarah  J.  Hanna.  Tt  also 
has:  one  minister  (old  school  Presbyterian), 
two  lawyers,  one  saddler,  two  tailors,  one  mill- 
wright, two  stores,  two  hotels.  Four  miles  away 
on  the  Le  Sueur  a  saw  mill  has  been  nearly 
completed,  owned  by  George  Van  Brunt.  There 
are  carpenters,  masons,  plasterers,  etc.,  here.  A 
new  town  called  South  Bend  has  been  laid  out 
across  the  Blue  Earth,  and  eight  miles  further 
is  Eureka,  where  there  is  a  good  saw  mill." 
The  Eureka  referred  to  was  a  paper  townsite 
which  Hiram  Caywood  had  laid  out  just  across 
the  river  from  the  present  townsit«   of   Judson, 


but  South  Bend  belongs  to   our  county  and  its 
history. 

At  La  Crosse,  Wis.,  there  resided  in  1853  a 
prominent  Welshman  named  David  C.  Evans. 
In  the  spring  of  that  year,  when  in  the  real 
e&tate  office  of  Colonel  T.  B.  Stoddard,  his  at- 
tention was  called  to  the  great  bend  of  the  Min- 
nesota as  a  strategic  commercial  point  and  he 
concluded  to  visit  it.  On  the  26th  of  July  Mr. 
Evans  started  to  spy  the  country.  On  the  way 
he  fell  in  with  General  Lyman  Matthews,  who 
had  come  from  the  blue  grass  region  of  Ken- 
tucky. They  spent  a  day  at  St.  Paul,  then  a 
village  of  a  few  shanties,  and  went  to  see  the 
great  falls  of  St.  Anthony,  and  found  upon  the 
land  now  occupied  by  the  city  of  Minneapolis 
only  a  single  white  man,  Colonel  John  H.  Stev- 
ens, who  had  built  a  squatters  shanty  close  to 
the  falls,  but  was  in  daily  apprehension  of  being 
driven  off  by  the  military  at  Fort  Snelling,  as 
a  trespasser.  At  St.  Paul  Evans  and  Matthews 
met  Captain  Samuel  Humbertson.  (No  native 
American,  having  any  opinion  of  himself,  came 
west  in  those  anti-bellum  days,  whose  rank  was 
less  than  "captain."  Our  captain's  title  was 
not  derived  from  any  military  record,  however, 
but  from  the  fact  that  he  owned  and  operated 
the  boat  "Clarion,"  which  did  such  valiant  ser- 
vice upon  the  Minnesota  in  those  early  days.) 
On  his  trips  to  Fort  Eidgely  the  captain  had 
discovered  an  excellent  boat  landing  at  the 
mouth  of  a  dry  ravine,  through  which  ages 
ago,  the  Blue  Earth  had  found  its  way  into 
the  Minnesota,  but  which  now  was  a  mile  above 
the  mouth  of  that  stream.  So  impressed  was  he 
^s'ith  the  advantages  of  the  spot  as  a  townsite 
that  on  his  last  trip  he  had  left  there  a  pile  of 
boards  for  a  shanty,  with  his  nephew,  Thomas 
Lameraux,  in  charge,  while  he  got  up  a  town- 
site  company  at  St.  Paul.  His  enthusiasm  soon 
induced  Evans  and  Matthews  to  Join  the  en- 
terprise, and  up  the  Minnesota  they  all  went  in 
the  Clarion.  It  was  the  1st  day  of  August 
when  they  reached  'TBabcock's  Landing,"  near 
Kasota  and  the  river  was  getting  low,  so  they 
had  to  tie  up  the  boat  there  and  proceed  the 
rest  of  the  way  on  foot.  Besides  our  two  friends 
and  the  captain,   the   company   comprised   Alden 


50 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


Bryant,  clerk  of  the  Clarion  and  John  Mann, 
it?  engineer.  They  found  Tom  Lemeraux  and 
the  pile  of  boards  holding  possession  of  the 
coveted  site.  On  the  bench  above  they  also 
found  I.  S.  Lyon  and  family,  who  had  arrived 
from  Iowa  a  day  or  two  before  in  a  covered  wagon, 
or  "Prairie  Schooner"  as  the  vehicle  was  called 
by  the  pioneers.  Lyon  was  at  iirst  taken  into 
the  townsite  company,  making  the  sixth  member, 
each  having  an  equal  share.  At  the  suggestion 
of  Mr.  Evans  the  prospective  city  was  called 
"South  Bend"  from  its  position  at  the  great 
bend  of  the  river. 

On  Saturday,  August  6th,  1853,  was  built  for 
Mr.  Lyon  on  the  table  land  east  of  the  village 
site,  the  iirst  log  cabin.  Mr.  Lyon  brought  with 
him  the  first  cow  west  of  the  Blue  Earth  and 
on  this  day  was  done  the  first  churning,  the  be- 
ginning of  the  great  dairy  industry  of  today. 
On  the  7th  day  of  August  most  of  our  townsite 
proprietors  footed  it  back  to  the  Clarion,  and 
thence  returned  to  St.  Paul  and  their  various 
homes,  to  get  ready  to  move  at  once  to  the  new 
town.  The  death  of  his  father  at  Palmyra, 
Ohio,  delayed  Mr.  Evans  several  weeks  in  his 
return.  He,  however,  sent  Owen  Herbert,  to 
South  Bend  in  August  to  look  after  his  interests 
while  he  followed  in  ISTovember.  On  the  33nd 
of  the  same  month  Mr.  Evans  went  to  St.  Paul 
after  D.  T.  Turpin,  a  civil  engineer,  to  survey 
and  plat  the  new  townsite,  which  survey  was 
completed  the  2nd  of  December.  The  weather 
had  been  exceedingly  pleasant  all  this  fall,  and 
on  the  last  day  of  the  survey  there  was  no. 
frost  in  the  ground.  Even  on  Christmas  day, 
when  a  party  of  Mankato  people  came  up  to 
visit  South  Bend,  the  ice  on  the  Blue  Earth 
was  not  strong  enough  to  cross. 

By  the  first  of  January,  1854,  however,  there 
was  a  change  in  the  weather  program,  and  for 
six  weeks  a  very  cold  spell  was  experienced. 
About  this  time  the  provisions  at  South  Bend 
got  very  low,  and  none  to  be  had  nearer  than 
St.  Paul,  one  hundred  miles  away.  Mr.  Evans 
had  bought  a  span  of  horses  of  Captain  Hum- 
bertson,  which,  by  the  way,  were  the  first,  and 
for  two  years  the  only,  horses  west  of  the 
Blue  Earth.     It,   therefore,   devolved   upon   Mr. 


Evans  to  take  his  horses  and  sleigh  after  the 
needed  supplies.  With  deep  snow  on  the  ground, 
drifted  in  places  to,  mountain  heaps,  with  the 
mercury  down  to  the  twenties,  and  the  danger 
of  being"  caught  in  a  blizzard  without  a  road  or 
human  habitation,  the  journey  was  anything  but 
desirable.  It  took  Mr.  Evans  eleven  days  to 
make  the  trip,  and  the  hardships  attending  it 
were  the  severest  he  experienced  in  all  his  life. 
On  the  evening  of  January  34th,  he  was  over- 
taken by  a  terrible  storm,  far  away  from  any 
house,  and  soon  lost  the  road.  The  deep  snow, 
the  blinding  storm,  and  the  bitter  cold  gave  no 
hope  of  escape.  He  could  not  see  a  rod  away. 
He  had  no  idea  of  the  points  of  the  compass, 
night  was  approaching,  the  howling  blizzard 
seemed  to  be  closing  in  on  its  prey.  Unhitch- 
ing his  team  he  made  the  best  shelter  possible 
for  them  behind  the  sleigh,  and  put  before  them 
all  the  fodder  he  had.  "With  a  few  sticks  of 
wood  he  managed  to  kindle  a  small  fire,  and  sat 
down  beside  it  not  expecting  to  see  the  morrow. 
He  soon  fell  into  a  stupor,  from  which  he  awoke 
to  find  his  fur  cap  laying  on  a  few  coals  before 
him,  apparently  intact,  but  on  touching  it  with 
his  hand  it  fell  to  ashes.  This  aroused  him 
from  his  lethargy,  and  the  storm  having  fortu- 
nately abated,  he  took  courage,  and  with  head 
tied  up  in  some  flannel  shirts  he  had  bought 
at  St.  Paul,  he  eventually  managed  to  reach 
Shakopee,  where  he  and  his  team  were  hospi- 
tably cared  for  at  the  hostelry  of  the  old  pioneer, 
Joe  Reynolds.  The  next  morning  Mr.  Evans 
resumed  his  journey  and  after  three  or  four 
more  days  of  struggling  with  snow  drifts,  he 
finally  reached  the  famine  stricken  city  at  the 
bend.  The  winter,  however,  was  very  short. 
Towards  the  last  of  February  the  weather  grew 
very  warm,  and  a  thunder  storm  on  March  1st, 
took  away  all  the  snow  and  broke  up  all  the 
rivers.  After  this  so  mild  was  the  temperature 
that  Mr.  Evans  had  no  need  to  shelter  his 
horses,  but  left  them  out  to  pasture  day  and 
night.  By  the  4th  of  April  the  sndces  and 
mosquitoes  were  out. 

Before  we  pass  to  the  events  of  the  spring  of 
1854,  let  us  return  to  the  settlement  east  of  the 
Blue  Earth,     About  December   15th,   1853,  the 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


r.i 


postoffice  of  Mankato  was  created,  and  P.  K. 
Johnson  appointed  its  first  postmaster.  Soon 
thereafter  the  contract  for  carrying  the  mail 
from  St.  Paul  to  Mankato  once  a  week  was  left 
to  George  H.  Marsh  to  hegin  July  1,  1854. 
Until  that  date  the  mails  came  when  the  boats 
ran,  or  when  some  one  happened  to  call  for 
them. 

About  December  30th,  1853,  Theron  Par- 
sons and  son,  L.  P.  Parsons,  arrived  at  Man- 
kato, having  come  by  team  all  the  way  from 
Illinois.  At  Hastings  they  stopped  at  a  hotel 
kept  by  Eev.  Jonathan  Morris,  a  noted  pioneer 
Campbellite  preacher,  who  afterwards  founded 
Morristown,  Eice  County,  Minnesota.  Eev.  Mor- 
ris accompanied  Mr.  Parsons  on  a  visit  to  Man- 
kato, and  on  January  1st,  preached  there  a 
sermon  long  remembered  by  the  pioneers.  Mr. 
Parsons  purchased  the  Chris  Eoss  claim,  a 
portion  of  which  was  afterwards  laid  out  as 
"Parsons  Addition  to  Mankato,"  and  moved  to 
his  new  home  in  April,   1854,  with  his  family. 

The  Indians  who  made  their  home  about  the 
mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  were  divided  into  two 
bands.  One  under  the  chieftainship  of  Sin- 
tomnidutah,  and  the  other  under  a  half  breed, 
called  "Frenchman."  The  latter  was  married 
to  a  sister  of  the  other  chief,  but  they  did  not 
live  very  happily  together.  Late  in  the  fall  of 
1853,  Frenchman  accused  his  wife  of  being  un- 
faithful to  him.  Her  friends  claimed  he  did 
tliis  for  an  excuse  to  marry  a  younger  squaw. 
According  to  the  Indian  law  the  punishment  for 
adultery  was  to  cut  oflE  the  end  of  the  nose,  and 
Frenchman  and  his  followers  were  in  favor  of 
law  enforcement  in  this  case.  The  squaw  fled 
to  her  brother  for  protection.  His  village  then 
stood  on  the  table  land  in  West  Mankato. 
Frenchman  and  his  warriors  pursued  her  thither, 
and  demanded  that  she  be  delivered  up  to  them. 
This  was  refused  and  the  Frenchman's  band  fired 
into  the  teepees,  and  a  battle  was  precipitated. 
Most  of  Sintomnidutah's  warriors  happened  to 
be  away  on  a  hunt  and  he  was  not  able  to  cope 
with  his  opponent.  In  the  fight  one  of  his 
warriors  was  killed  and  another  dangerously 
Mounded.  As  it  was  in  the  dusk  of  evening  he 
and  his  sister  managed  to  escape  into  the  brush 


and  fled  to  a  cave  beside  Minneopa  Falls,  which 
ever  after  bore  the  name  of  "Sintomnidutah's 
Cave."  Here  they  kept  concealed  for  two  or 
three  days  until  the  chiefs  warriors  returned 
from  the  hunt.  He  then  sallied  forth  at  the 
head  of  his  warriors  to  avenge  his  sister's  wrongs 
and  his  own,  and  chief  Frenchman  was  obliged 
to  flee  to  the  whites  at  Mankato  for  protection, 
where  he  stayed  for  some  time,  until  a  truce 
was  arranged  between  the  two  bands.  The 
wounded  Indian  from  Sintomnidutah's  band 
was  also  taken  at  once  to  the  whites  at  Mankato 
for  medical  aid,  and  he  stayed  with  Drs.  Heath 
and  Adams  all  winter,  being  about  the  only 
patient  the  doctors  had,  and  was  healed  of  his 
wounds. 

January  32,  1854,  occurred  the  first  meeting 
of  the  new  Board  of  County  Commissioners,  the 
first  board  elected  by  the  -people.  Ephraim 
Cole  was  chairman  and  J.  W.  Babcock  and 
Jacob  Guenther  were  the  other  members.  At 
this  meeting  a  .resolution  was  passed  making 
Mankato  the  county  seat. 

During  this  month  the  small  Mankato  set- 
tlement had  a  narrow  escape  from  an  Indian 
m^assacre.  In  the  autumn  the  chief  Sintomni- 
outah  had  purchased  twenty-five  dollars  worth  of 
goods  of  T.  D.  Warren,  and  hypothecated  his 
crop  of  wild  rice  for  the  payment,  which  was  to 
be  made  from  the  first  annuity  money.  This 
money,  however,  was  spent  for  something  else, 
and  when  winter  brought  hunger  to  his  wigwam, 
the  chief  began  calling  for  his  rice.  Warren  in- 
formed him  he  could  get  it  as  soon  as  he  paid 
the  debt  and  not  before.  The  chief  said  he 
had  no  money,  and,  therefore,  could  not  pay, 
but  that  his  squaw  and  papoose  were  starving, 
and  so  must  have  the  rice.  The  chief  carried 
a  fine  rifle,  which  had  the  reputation  among  the 
Indians  of  always  hitting  whatever  it  was  aimed 
at,  and  Warren  proposed  to  give  him  the  rice 
and  five  dollars  to  boot  for  the  gun.  Sintomni- 
dutah  agreed  to  this,  but  when  he  and  his  brother 
and  their  squaws  came  that  evening  to  get  the 
rice,  they  pretended  to  have  forgotten  the  rifle, 
and  said  they  would  bring  it  next  morning. 
Warren  was  too  shrewd  for  such  a  trick,  and  in- 
sisted  they    could    not    have    the   rice    until    the 


52 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


gun   was  brought.      Sintomnidutah   was    a   tall, 
well   proportioned   Indian,    with   head    and    fea- 
tures   resembling    those    of    Henry    Clay.      Be- 
sides being  quick  witted  he  had  great  reputation 
for  strength  and  bravery,  and  was  an  ugly  an- 
tagonist in  a  fray.     On  the  supper  table  lay  a 
Itng  bladed  knife.     Seizing  it  like  a  flash,  the 
chief  brandished  it  over  his  head  and  declared 
h'    would  have  his  rice,  whether  pale  face  was 
willing   or   not,   and   started  to   climb   into   the 
attic  where  it  was  stored.     Warren  was  a  large, 
athletic  man,  who  knew  no  fear.     Instantly  he 
grabbed  the  chief  by  both  wrists,   and  shaking 
the    knife    out    of    his    hand,    shoved    him    out 
through    the    door    with    a   parting   kick.      The 
Indians  at  once  took  their  departure  and  noth- 
ing more  was  heard  of  them  for  several   days, 
when   Tom   Lemeraux,   who   was    accustomed   to 
visit  the  Indians,   came  to   Warren's   cabin  one 
night  with  the  intelligence  that  he  had  just  been 
to   the   Indian   village;   that  the   warriors   were 
holding  a  war  dance  and  the  squaws  had  warned 
him  away,  saying  that  the  braves  were  very  ugly 
towards  the  whites  and  had  determined  to  kill 
them  all  in  the  morning.    Warren  simply  laugh- 
ed at  Tom's  story.     Next  day  about  nine  o'clock 
in  the  forenoon,  however,  the  people  of  Mankato 
were   surprised   and   startled   to   see   some   forty 
Indians,  all  armed  and  decked  in  war  paint  and 
feathers,   march  up   Front  street  in   single  file. 
The  settlers  hurried  from  their  cabins  to  inquire 
the  meaning  of  this  unwonted  savage  demonstra- 
tion.    The  school  children  saw  the  strange  pro- 
cession   as    it    passed    the    school    room    in    the 
Moreland   building,    and   followed   with    childish 
curiosity.      Straight    to    Warren     cabin,    which 
stood   near    Dr.    Harrington's   present   residence, 
grimly  marched   the  line  of  warriors.     Warren 
and    a   young   man,    named    George    Oummings, 
were   chopping  firewood  by  the   door  when  the 
Iiidians  approached.     Cummings  dodged  into  the 
house  and  he  and  Mrs.  Warren  seized  a  couple 
of  guns.     Warren  faced  the  foe  like  a  lion  and 
demanded  the  why  of  their  coming.    The  laconic 
word  "rice"  was  the  only  answer  as  the  braves 
formed  in  two  lines,   one  on  each  side  of  the 
path  leading  to  the  door.     Not  seeing  the  chief 
at  once,  Warren  demanded  where  he  was.    Down 


at  the  further  end  of  the  two  lines   Sintomni- 
dutah stepped  out  into  the  path  in  all  his  regalia 
of  war.     Instantly  Warren   seized  a   large   sled 
stake,    and,    marching    straight    down    the    path 
between    the    two    lines    of    armed    savages,    he 
faced   the  chief   and   demanded  the  gun.     Sin- 
tomnidutah   eyed    his    antagonist    keenly    for    a 
moment,  then  turning  the  barrel  of  his  gun  up- 
side   down    he    emptied    the    contents    into    the 
palm  of  his  hand,  and  showing  Warren  the  half 
dozen  ugly  slugs,  which  had  formed  the  charge, 
he   said,   "White  man,  these   were  intended  for 
you,  but   your  heart   is  brave."     So  saying  he 
replaced   the   charge   and   fired   it  into   the  air 
and  handed  the  gun  to  Warren.     Warren's  cour- 
age was  all  that  saved  him  and  the  other  set- 
tlers of  Mankato  that  day.     Had  he  shown  the 
slightest  fear  the  massacre  planned  would  have 
taken    place.      The    Indians    always    reverenced 
courage  as  something  supernatural,   and  a  true 
ejhibition  of  it  seldom  failed  to  call  forth  their 
respect.     Some  twenty  or  more  settlers  had  now 
gathered,  most  of  them  fairly  well  armed  and  a 
determined  lot  of  men.     So  if  the  Indians  had 
begun  the  fight,  it  would  not  have  been  wholly 
a  one  sided   affair.     Warren  paid  the  chief  at 
once   the    five    dollars,    and    hitching   his    oxen, 
hauled  the  rice  down  to   his   lodge,   and   peace 
and  good  will  prevailed  once  more. 

On  February  25th,  1854,  Rev.  James  Thom- 
son, a  Presbyterian  minister,  arrived,  having 
come  all  the  way  from  Wabash,  Indiana,  on 
horseback.  He  was  the  first  minister  to  locate 
in  the  county,  and  the  next  day  being  Sunday, 
he  preached  his  first  sermon  at  the  little  room 
in  the  Moreland  building,  where  Miss  Hanna 
had  her  school  and  where  the  Sunday  school 
was  kept.  After  the  sermon  Rev.  Thomson  had 
all  who  were  members  of  the  Presbyterian  church 
rise  and  make  a  sort  of  church  covenant  to- 
gether. There  were  seven  persons  who  arose  as 
follows:  Mr.  and  Mrs.  James  Hanna  and  two 
of  their  children,  Mrs.  George  Maxfield  and  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  George  Clapp,  who  lived  on  a  claim 
in  Kasota  township,  and  whom  Eev.  Thomson 
had  met  on  the  road  the  day  before  and  invited 
to  the  meeting. 

"Father    Thomspu,"    m    be    was    generally 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EASTH  COtTNTY. 


53 


called,  came  of  a  distinguished  family  of  preach- 
ers, educators,  and  authors.  His  father  and 
three  of  his  brothers  were  ministers,  two  broth- 
ers were  professors  in  Wabash  College,  and  one 
brother  was  the  famous  Dr.  William  M.  Thom- 
son, the  author  of  "The  Land  and  the  Book." 
Father  Thomson  had  organized  the  first  Pres- 
byterian church  at  CrawfordsvUle,  Indiana,  and 
had  taken  the  most  active  lead  in  the  founding 
of  Wabash  College.  His  whole  life  was  domi- 
nated by  one  ambition  to  found  a  great  religious 
college  in  the  west.  Wabash  College  did  not 
satisfy  him,  and  hence  he  started  for  the  Blue 
Earth  country  in  Minnesota,  haviag  a  great 
scheme  on  his  mind.  This  was  to  find  a  town- 
ship of  the  choicest  farm  land  and  purchase  it 
entire  from  the  government,  then  get  up  a  col- 
ony of  select  Presbyterian  people,  to  whom  the 
lands  were  to  be  sold  at  a  fair  profit,  this  profit 
to  be  the  endowment  of  the  school.  Thus  a 
financial  and  moral  support  would  be  afforded 
the  young  institution,  which  would  insure  its 
success.  So  reasoned  Father  Thomson  and  as 
a  precedent  he  pointed  to  Galesburg  College 
in  Illinois.  That  first  Saturday  night  at  Mr. 
Hanna's  house  he  explained  his  mission  to  Mr. 
Hanna  and  Major  Murphy,  then  superintendent 
of  the  Sioux  Indians  in  Minnesota,  who  hap- 
pened to  be  stopping  there  over  night.  Mr.  Han- 
na thought  that  the  best  land  had  already  been 
taken,  for  in  those  days  prairie  land  away  from 
the  timber  was  considered  uninhabitable.  The 
Major  suggested  a  still  more  fatal  objection  to 
the  plan,  which  the  reverend  gentleman  had 
not  thought  of,  namely:  That  the  government 
was  not  selling  land  any  more  in  large  tracts, 
that  the  only  way  in  which  land  could  be  se- 
cured at  that  time  was  under  the  "Pre-emption 
Act,"  which  did  not  permit  more  than  160  acres 
to  be  sold  to  one  person.  Though  greatly  dis- 
appointed in  not  getting  his  township  of  land 
and  being  able  to  carry  out  his  original  plan. 
Father  Thomson  did  not  abandon  his  dream  of 
founding  a  great  college  at  the  big  bend  of  the 
Minnesota  and  he  concluded  to  locate  at  Mankato. 
Mr.  Hanna  assured  him  that  small  tracts  of 
land,  suitable  for  a  college,  could  be  found  and 
showed   him   a   lithographed   map    of    Mankato, 


on  which  a  big  college  building  was  already 
pictured.  The  Major  showed  him  a  big  lump 
of  excellent  coal,  which  someone  had  just  found 
that  afternoon  upon  the  Blue  Earth,  and  spent 
half  the  evening  dilating  upon  the  importance 
of  the  find,  and  the  discovery  was  heralded  iu 
the  state  papers.  It  was  afterwards  proven  that 
the  coal  had  been  taken  from  Josiah  Keene'a 
blacksmith  shop  and  deposited  where  found,  by 
some  wag. 

February  27th  Rev.  M.  N.  Adams,  then  col- 
porteur of  the  American  Bible  Society,  and 
pastor  of  the  Presbyterian  church  at  Traverse 
des  Sioux,  held  at  Mankato  the  first  meeting 
in  the  interest  of  the  Bible  cause.  Father 
Thomson  had  met  him  at  Traverse  des  Sioux 
the  previous  Saturday  and  arranged  for  the 
meeting.  Rev.  Thomson  in  a  few  days  bought 
the  claim  of  Evans  and  Henry  Goodrich,  where 
Dukes  Addition  is  now  located,  for  $800.00  and 
sent  for  his  family  who  arrived  the  foUowiag 
June. 

On  April  3rd,  1854,  the  County  Commission- 
ero  organized  the  county  into  two  school  dis- 
tricts: District  No.  1  to  comprise  the  voting 
precinct  of  Mankato  and  District  No.  3  the 
precinct  of  Kasota.  The  excellent  stage  of  water 
maintained  ia  the  Minnesota  river  during  1853 
had  greatly  encouraged  steamboat  men.  Captain 
Humbertson  during  the  winter  disposed  of  his 
"Clarion,"  and  had  built  in  its  stead  a  much 
lurger  and  finer  boat,  which  he  called  the  "Min- 
nesota Belle."  On  the  third  of  May  the  cap- 
tain started  up  the  Minnesota  with  his  new 
boat.  On  board  also  were  Lewis  Branson, 
Henry  Shaubut,  John  Barnard,  Luther  Bar- 
rett and  many  others  destined  for  the  Blue 
Earth  country.  The  little  freshet  caused  by  the 
melting  snow  had  occurred  early  in  March  and 
there  had  been  no  spring  rains.  On  reaching 
the  rapids  near  Carver,  on  the  fourth  of  May, 
the  Belle  got  stuck  on  the  rock  and  every  effort 
to  get  her  over  it  proved  futile.  The  captain 
was  so  disgusted  with  his  failure  that  he  never 
attempted  to  navigate  the  Minnesota  again.  Most 
of  the  passengers  managed  to  reach  their  des- 
tination by  team  or  on  foot,  but  aU  of  those 
bound  for  South  Bend  located  elsewhere  except 


54 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


Matthew  Thomson.  Lewis  Branson,  a  lawyer 
from  Indiana,  Henry  Shaubut,  Adam  Froendle 
and  a  number  of  others  settled  at  Mankato.  In 
a  few  days  after  his  arrivel  Henry  Shaubut  pur- 
chased from  the  Mankato  Townsite  company, 
tlirough  General.  Leech,  the  Mankato  House. 
ll  had  cost  the  company  about  $3,500.00  but 
Mr.  Shaubut  got  it  for  $1,200.00.  He  had  the 
lower  story  plastered  and  completed  during  the 
summer,  and  the  wing  part  was  occupied  by 
Eevw  Thomson  and  his  family  until  the  fol- 
lowing spring,  when  Mr.  Shaubut  brought  his 
family  to  Mankato  and  took  possession  of  the 
,  building. 

Along  about  the  middle  of  May  there  was 
some  rain,  which  raised  the  river  sufficiently, 
so  the  steamer  "Globe"  was  able  to  reach  Man- 
koto,  on  May  30th.  She  was  the  first  boat  that 
seasouj  and  about  the  last,  for  the  water  in  the 
river  soon  fell  again.  Eight  glad  were  the 
people  -at  Mankato  to  see  the  boat,  for  their 
provisions  were  about  exhausted  and  nearly  all 
the  inhabitants  had  been  living  on  fish  alone 
for  weeks. 

Among'  the  'Globe's'  passengers  was  John  Q. 
A'.  Marsh,  who  brought  with  him  a  stock  of  mer- 
chandise, which  his  brother  George  H.  Marsh 
had  ordered  the  'previous  fall.  The  two  brothers 
opened  a'  store  at  once  in  the  Hanna  building, 
which  was  the  first  store '  in  the  county  having 
other  than  Indian'  goods.  A  month  later  they 
moved"  the  store  to  their  own  building  on  lot 
5  block  16,  where  they  conducted  a  general  store 
for  years.  '    ' 

On  the  4th  of  May,  1854,  a,  second  term  of 
the  District  Court  was  held  in  Colonel  Eobert- 
son's  store  building.  Hon.  A.  G.  Chatfield  pre- 
sided, Basil  Moreland  was  sheriff,  ajid  Jeffrey 
T.  Adams  clerk. 

This  year  witnessed, a  number  of  cabins  added 
to  Mankato  as  well  as  to  farm  settlements  to 
the  north,  east  and  south  of  it.  At  South 
Bend  D.  C.  Evans  erected  quite  a  pretentious 
three  story  log  house,  the  rear  of  the  lower 
stories  extended  into  the  bluff,  on  the  side  of 
which  it  was  built.  Matthew  Thompson,  Elijah 
K.   Bangs   and   John   Barnard   were   among  the 


new   arrivals   at  the  townsite.     Joshua  Barnard 
hdd  located  there  some  months  before. 

On  the  west  half  of  section  34  in  Mankato 
township  George  Van  Bnmt  had  in  1853  dis- 
covered a  good  water  power  on  the  he  Sueur, 
and  during  the  winter  with  the  help  of  M.  T. 
Comstock  and  James  McMurtrie,  he  had  a  dam 
constructed  and  timbers  hauled  for  a  sawmill.  By 
July,  1854,  the  mill  was  completed  and  began 
the  manufacture  of  lumber,  a  much  needed  com- 
modity. This  same  summer  George  W.  Lay  be- 
gan the  erection  of  a  saw  mill  at  Mankato,  but 
tor  some  reason  he  failed  to  get  it  into  workiug 
order  for  a  year  or  two.  On  Minneopa  Creek 
I.  S.  Lyons,  "Buckskin  Lyons,"  as  the  old  set- 
tlers called  him  from  his  peculiar  costume,  put 
lip  a  small  saw  mill,  which  he  began  to  operate 
on  the  8th  of  August.  It  stood  just  above 
where  the  present  New  Ulm  road  crosses  the 
stream. 

From   a   census   taken   at   the   time   and   pre- 
served in  his  diary  by  D.   C.  Evans ,  the  Town- 
ship of  South  Bend  on  August  8th,  1854,  had: 
-'J'ive  "houses,  1  six    lamilies,-  comprising    twenty- 
.  six  souls,,  one  span  lof  horses,  four  yokes  of  oxen, 
-  six  cows,   and  two  dogs.  ,   On  September  23nd, 
18S4,   a  plat   of  the/ ■  tpwjisite  was   recorded,  in 
'y/hich  D.  ,C.   Evans,  Lyman  Matthews,    Samuel 
-IIumbertson,i/Alden -Bryant  •ai;4  'M.    ThompsOjU 
'  appear  i  as' I  proprietors.  ■  .:,'    .,  ij    iii 
.    In  July  John  JooBf  and.  his.  Son-in-law,  Grif- 
fith   Jones,    from    nfear  :  Oshkosh, ,  Wis.,    visited 
■South   Bend!  Township  J  and  rlooated    claims    on 
Eush  Lake,  to  which-  on  August.  17th,,  they  re- 
moved with  their  families.   -About -the  first- of 
,  April  of  this  I  same  ,  y^ar   S.   Titus  :  Mills,  started 
from  his  home  in  Lakfe.  County,  111.,  in  a:coveTed 
-wagoui-drtiwn  by  i two  .yokes  of- >  Dxen,i  hound  for 
the   Blue,-  Earth '.country. ,    i -He  .  took  -  with  ,  him 
thirty ,  head  of  cattle  and  one  horse  and  had  a 
man  !to  help   drive   them.     After   many   adven- 
tures :  and  hardships- .he -.reached   Mankato   about 
the  first  of  June.     Mrs.  Mills  and  the  children 
started  about  a  month  later  with   Theron   Par- 
sons   and    family    and    came    by    the    ordinary 
steamboat  route.     She  reached  Mankato  about  as 
soon    as    her    husband.      Mr.    Mills    bought    of 
George  Cummings  of  Mankato  a  claim,  he  had 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


55 


just  taken  and  built  a  small  log  cabin  upon, 
at  the  east  end  of  Mills  lake,  and  on  July  1st, 
moved  his  family  thereon,  being  the  first  per- 
manent settler  of  Garden  City  Township. 

To  illustrate  one  special  annoyance,  which 
every  pioneer  of  that  day  experienced  from  the 
Indians,  and  to  show  as  well  the  mettle  of  the 
women  of  that  period,  I  will  quote  from  a  pa- 
per Mrs.  Mills  prepared  for  an  old  settlers  gath- 
ering, this  incident:  "Provisions  of  all  kinds 
v/ere-  very  high.  Mr.  Mills  paid  $1.50  a  bushel 
for  some  corn.  He  kept  it  in  sacks  in  one  cor- 
ner of  our  cabin.  The  Indians  saw  it  and  came 
every  day  begging  for  it.  At  last  they  became 
so  persistent  we  told  them  it  was  for  our  own 
use  we  had  got  it,  and  could  not  let  them  have 
it.  One  day  Indian  men,  squaws  and  papooses 
crowded  in  and  filled  the  room  full.  They  ap- 
peared very  merry,  laughing  and  gabbleing 
among  themselves.  Soon  I  noticed  their  atten- 
tion was  directed  to  the  corner  where  the  corn 
was  and  I  knew  they  were  helping  themselves 
tn  it.  I  was"  alone  with  my  little  child  and 
what  could  I  do  with  so  many  of  them.  When 
they  began  to  go  out  I  saw  some  of  them  had 
corn  in  their  blankets  and  let  them  go  without 
saying  anything.  But  one  squaw  had  such  a 
big  load,  it  was  more  than  I  could  put  up  with. 
1  took  hold  of  her  blanket,  and  gave  it  a  sud- 
deii  jerk,  which  loosened  it  and  the  corn  fell 
tp  the  floor.  I  told  her  to  put  it  back  in  the 
sack  and  she  said  no,  and  I  closed  the  door  and 
gave  her  to  understand  it  must  be  put  back 
before  she  could  go  out.  The  others  laughed 
at  her  and  helped  her  put  it  back,  but,  oh,  how 
mad  she  was!  I  gave  her  a  few  ears  and  told 
her  to  go,  and  that  was  the  last  I  saw  of  her." 

About  the  same  time,  or  it  may  have  been  a 
i'ew  weeks  later,  two  young  men  from  Vermont, 
named  William  and  Edward  Washburn,  located 
claims  in  the  Haunted  Valley  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Watonwan,  in  Garden  City  township.  Early 
in  the  fall  of  the  same  year,  came  Charles 
Gilchrist,  Edward  Thompson,  George  Lamberton, 
Orin  J.  Westover  and  Edson  Gerry,  all  young 
men,  and  located  claims  in  the  same  town  along 
the  Watonwan.  About  the  1st  of  May  W.  E. 
Eobinson   and    S.    H.    Thorne   left   their   homes 


in  Tompkins  County,  N.  Y.,  to  seek  their  for- 
tunes  in   the  west.     Thorne  went  to   visit   his 
brother-in-law,    Calvin    Webb,    in    Iowa,    while 
Eobinson  went  to  his  brother-ia-law,  L.  0.  Hunt, 
in  Wisconsin.     Since  the  cession  of  their  lands 
by  the   Sioux,  Minnesota  was  everywhere  talked 
about   as    ofiering   the   best    opportunity   to    set- 
tlers.    Messrs.  Hunt  and  Eobinson  concluded  to 
visit    the   Blue    Earth    country,    where   they    ar- 
rived  early  in   Jidy.     Both  were   favorably   im- 
pressed and  made  up  their  minds  to  locate  here 
at  once.     Eobinson  wrote  to  his  family  and  to 
Mr.  Thorne  about  the  decision  he  had  come  to, 
and   Mr.    Thorne   induced    Calvin    Webb    to    sell 
his  Iowa  claim  and  go  with  the  rest  to  Minnesota. 
The   Eobinson   family    joined    the    Hunt    family 
in  Dodge  County,  Wis.,  while  the  Thorne  family 
went   to    Calvin    Webb's    home   near    Davenport, 
and    all   were    to    rendezvous    at   La    Crosse    on 
August  1st,  1854.     Writing  of  the  journey  Mrs. 
Thorne    says:      "So    we    procured    our    camping 
outfit   in   Davenport   and    shipped    most    of    our 
goods  by  boat  to   St.   Paul.     Our  boat  was   de- 
tained   four    days    at    Galena,    waiting    for.  pas- 
sengers overland  from  the  west,  so  when  we  ar- 
rived at  La  Crosse,  we  did  not  meet  our  friends. 
We  went  up  the  river  a  few  miles  above  Winona, 
and    then    started    for    our    overland    trip,    very 
much  disappointed  that  we  did  not  meet  them. 
We  left  the  river,  and  it  took  all  the  forenoon 
to  get  up  the  bluff.     When  all   the  teams  had 
reached  the  prairie  we   camped  for   dinner,   our 
first  meal  on  the  boundless   prairie.     While  we 
were   preparing   the   meal,    Mr.    Webb    and    Mr. 
Thorne    cui   the    bark   from    some   trees    nearby 
and  wrote  our  names  and  date. 

After  we  had  traveled  about  an  hour  we  no- 
ticed a  horseman  following  us  on  the  gallop,  and 
halted  for  him  to  come  up.  It  proved  to  be 
Mr.  Eobinson.  They  had  found  our  campfire 
and  our  names  and  he  had  hurried  after  us, 
whUe  the  rest  were  cookiag  dinner,  and  we 
were  very  happy  to  be  together.  We  had  no 
roads  to  follow,  only  the  compass  ■  to  guide  us. 
We  had  not  expected  to  be  more  than  ten  days 
on  the  way,  but  we  found  all  the  marshes  and 
cieeks  full  of  water,  and  every  river  a  raging 
torrent,    so    that   it    took   us    nearly    six    weeks. 


56 


HISTOEY  OF  BLtJE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


Our  stores  of  bread  and  cake  and  such  things 
soon  disappeared.  Once  we  traveled  two  days 
and  came  back  where  we  camped  'the  first  night. 
That  is  only  one  of  the  many  adventures  we 
had.  For  over  three  weeks  we  never  saw  an- 
other human  being,  except  two  Indians,  who 
visited  our  camp  one  night.  We  had  no 
vegetables.  ALL  we  had  was  some  dried  fish  and 
salt  meat  and  what  bread  we  could  bake  before 
the  camp  fire,  and  many  times  we  held  the 
umbrella  over  it  while  it  baked.  We  frequently 
saw  elk  and  deer  and  plenty  of  wild  fowl,  but 
our  hunters  never  could  get  near  enough  to  kill 
any  of  them.  When  everything  was  done  for 
the  night,  before  we  sought  our  beds  spread  on 
the  earth  under  the  canvass  we  always  sang: 

"Forever  with  the  Lord, 
Amen,  so  let  it  be. 
Life  from  the  dead  is  in  that  word. 
Tis  immortality. 
Here  in  the  body  pent 
Absent  from  him  we  roam. 
But   nightly   pitched   our   moving  tent 
A  days'  march  nearer  home." 

Well  at  last  we  reached  the  Blue  Earth  river, 
just  above  the  mouth  of  the  Le  Sueur  and  we 
had  no  way  to  get  across.  So  some  of  our 
m.en  swam  across  and  went  to  South  Bend,  and 
Armstrong  and  Lemeraux  came  over  with  a 
boat  and  helped  us.  It  took  about  all  day  Sat- 
urday, and  we  could  not  get  to  South  Bend 
until  Sunday  morning,  September  13th,  and  a 
very  sorry  looking  crowd  were  we.  D.  C.  Evans 
kindly  welcomed  us  and  let  us  have  a  part  of 
his  new  house,  and  we  were  happy  to  be  under 
a  roof  once  more.  We  thought  our  troubles 
were  over,  but  alas  we  had  only  begun  our 
frontier  life,  and  the  many  trials  and  privations 
we  had  to  endure  seem  now  almost  incredible. 
Mr.  Thorne  took  a  claim  on  Crystal  Lake,  Mr. 
Webb  located  in  Judson  Township,  and  Mr. 
Hunt  and  Mr.  Eobinson  after  settling  for  a 
few  weeks  in  Eapidan,  removed  on  November 
1st  to  the  banks  of  Lake  Crystal." 

Early  in  1853  the  Eureka  Townsite  and 
Water  Power  company  was  organized,  with  Hir- 
am  Caywood  as  the  prime  mover.     A  townsite 


was  laid  out,  called  "Eureka"  near  the  mouth  of 
Swan  Lake  Creek,  in  Nicollet  County,  and  dur- 
ing that  summer  a  saw  mill  was  erected  by  Mr. 
Caywood  on  the  creek.  This  at  once  attracted 
some  settlers  to  the  locality,  as  the  townsite  was 
widely  advertised.  A  few  of  these  located  on 
the  Judson  bottom,  on  the  Blue  Earth  County 
side  of  the  river,  as  early  as  1853.  Eev.  John 
Tidland  and  family,  and  John  Eandahl,  were 
of  this  number.  During  1854,  John  Goodwin, 
William  Irving,  Chester  D.  Hill,  Eobert  Pat- 
terson, Gustav  Johnson,  Peter  Olson,  Charles 
Youngberg,  John  Beckman  and  Fred  and  Frank 
Winnestrand  joined  the  Judson  settlers. 

Near  the  little  town  of  St.  Charles,  Mo.,  not 
far  from  St.  Louis,  a  number  of  German  farm- 
ers had  settled.  The  land  was  quite  hilly  and 
ill  adapted  for  agriculture.  Two  of  the  colony 
went  across  the  Mississippi  into  the  Illinois 
country  to  purchase  a  threshing  outfit  in  the 
spring  of  1854.  The  rich  farming  lands  they 
saw  there  opened  their  eyes  to  the  poverty  of 
the  soil  they  had  chosen  at  St.  Charles,  and 
they  went  home  and  stirred  up  the  community 
to  the  folly  of  remaining  in  such  a  barren  spot, 
when  the  country  was  full  of  good  land.  Af 
a  conference  held,  it  was  decided  to  send  one  of 
their  number  as  a  spy  to  discover  the  best  land. 
A  young  German  of  good  judgment  and  educa- 
tion and  thoroughly  reliable,  named  Nicolas 
Uhle,  was  hired  for  $35.00  per  month  and  ex- 
penses and  sent  out  on  the  important  mission. 
He  went  through  Nebraska,  Iowa,  Wisconsin, 
and  up  above  St.  Paul  on  the  Mississippi. 
Then  he  came  up  the  Minnesota  to  Mankato 
and  put  up  with  Clements  Kron.  The  next 
morning  after  his  arrival  he  called  on  Mr.  Kron 
for  his  bill  and  paid  it.  He  remained  in  the 
locality  two  or  three  weeks,  making  daily  ex- 
cursions into  the  country.  He  would  tell  no 
one  of  his  mission,  and  the  Germans  at  Man- 
kato were  quite  puzzled  to  explain  his  mysterious 
coming  and  going.  He  finally  returned  to  St. 
Charles  with  a  full  report  of  all  the  lands  he 
had  seen,  but  his  recommendation  was  to  the 
country  about  Mankato  in  Blue  Earth  County. 

The    report    was    adopted    and    the    following 
persons  made  ready  at  once  to  go  to  the  prom- 


HISTORY  OF  BLtJB  EAETH  COtTNTT. 


57 


ised  land:  Michael  Hund,  Philip  Hodapp,  Peter 
Schulte,  David  Heidwinkle,  and  Frank  Bortmeir 
with  their  families,  and  Henry  Vahle  and  Leo 
Lamm,  both  ithen  unmarried.  Young  "Uhle  was, 
to  his  great  disappointment,  denied  the  privi- 
lege of  going  with  the  colony,  as  his  parents  just 
tiien  summoned  him  back  to  Germany.  This 
band  of  German  emigrants  reached  Mankato 
on  October  14th,  1854,  and  settled  in  Lime  and 
Mankato  Townships,  where  they  and  their  de- 
scendants became  prominent  residents.  Nearly 
all  of  the  fathers  and  mothers,  however,  have 
gone  to  their  reward,  after  rendering  splendid 
service  to  their  church  and  community. 

The  year  1854  saw  the  beginning  of  settle- 
ments in  Eapidan,  Lyra  and  McPherson.  Basil 
Moreland  made  a  claim  of  160  acres  in  section 
7  of  Eapidan  covering  the  finest  water  power 
on  the  Blue  Earth.  In  April,  Oliver  J.  Roe 
and  John  N.  Dodgson  made  claims  in  the  same 
town.  In  August  Isaac  Andrus  and  Truman  P. 
Andrus  located  upon  farms  along  the  Maple  in 
sections  11  and  12  of  the  same  town,  while 
Williston  K.  Greenwood  claimed  on  the  Blue 
Earth  adjoining  Basil  Moreland  in  section  7. 
In  the  fall  of  this  same  year  Noble  G.  Eoot 
moved  with  his  family  to  a  claim  he  had  made 
on  the  Maple  adjoining  the  present  vUlage  of 
Good  Thunder  on  the  south  in  sections  9  and 
10  of  Lyra.  On  October  11th  Barnabas  W. 
Simmons  took  possession  with  his  family  of  160 
acres  in  section  33  of  Lyra.  In  November  of 
this  same  year  Charles  Mansfield  and  Ansen 
AV.  Callen  located  upon  claims  on  the  east 
bank  of  -Rice  LaJvC,  in  McPherson  Township  on 
sections   nineteen   and  twenty. 

On  July  1st,  1854,  George  H.  Marsh  began 
his  contract  with  the  government  for  the  trans- 
portation of  the  mail  once  a  week  between  St. 
Paul  and  Mankato.  The  first  trip  he  made  on 
foot  as  far  as  Traverse  des  Sioux  and  thence 
down  the  river  in  an  Indian  canoe.  A  horse 
and  light  wagon  were  procured  for  the  return 
trip  and  used  for  a  time;  but  soon  two  horses 
\vere  used  and  a  covered  rig  to  carry  passen- 
gers and  light  freight.  Within  about  a  year 
the  service  was  increased  to  twice  a  week,  then 
thrice  a  week,  and  finally  daily  and  the  south- 


ern terminus  removed  to  South  Bend.  To  have 
a  regular  mail  service  even  once  a  week  was  a 
wonderful  convenience  to  the  settlers  in  their  iso- 
lation. No  need  then  for  any  postoffice  or  let- 
ter boxes,  for  on  mail  day  every  resident  in  the 
settlement  was  on  hand  long  before  the  arrival 
of  the  post,  and  all  postmaster  Johnson  had  to 
do,  after  opening  the  mail  bag,  was  to  call  the 
names  and  each  person  was  on  hand  to  receive 
his  mail.  If  any  one  failed  to  respond  Mr. 
Johnson  would  put  the  letter  in  his  pocket  and 
look  him  up,  for  there  must  have  been  something 
serious  the  matter  with  him.  The  first  assess- 
ment ever  made  in  the  county  occurred  in  1854. 
A  most  important  event  for  the  settlers  of 
Blue  Earth  County  in  1854  was  the  government 
survey  of  the  land.  Until  this  time  no  settler 
cculd  tell  much  about  the  boundary  of  his  claim. 
Surveyors  would  mark  out  160  acres  of  land  for 
a  settler,  but  with  no  township  or  section  lines 
to  go  by,  no  one  could  well  describe  it,  or  know 
how  much  of  it  he  could  hold  when  the  survey 
was  made.  The  original  townsite  of  Mankato 
was  platted  from  a  survey  made  before  the 
government  lines  were  run,  and  the  whole  is  tied 
to  a  stake  on  Main  street  near  the  Saulpaugh, 
where  the  survey  started.  AU  the  settlers  had 
to  readjust  their  farms  more  or  less  when  the 
survey  was  made.  The  government  surveyors 
began  their  work  on  the  county  about  July  1st, 
1854,  at  its  southeast  corner,  and  worked 
north  and  west.  They  first  ran  the  township 
and  range  lines,  and  then  subdivided  the  town- 
ships into  sections.  The  work  occupied  all  that 
summer  and  fall,  and  was  not  fully  completed 
until  the  following  spring.  A  number  of  per- 
sons connected  with  this  survey  located  at  Man- 
kato this  same  fall.  Prominent  among  whom 
were  L.  G.  M.  Fletcher,  John  T.  Everett  and 
Henry  Humphrey.  Others  who  settled  in  Manka- 
to this  same  fall  are:  William  P.  Coffin  and  Joel 
Cloud,  (who  during  the  winter  ran  a  small 
store  in  the  Hanna  building  on  the  levee), 
Daniel  T.  Bunker,  S.  M.  Walker,  Adam  Freun- 
dle,  Geo.  A.  Clark,  Morton  Lafiin,  B.  W.  Stan- 
nard,  Antoin  Jacoby,  Jacob  and  Henry  Sontag, 
Columbus  Ballard  and  many  others. 

On  the   3rd  of   July,   1854,   the   election  pre- 


58 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COtJNTY. 


cinct  of  South  Bond  was  created,  embracing  all 
the  county  -west  of  the  Blue  Earth  river.  The 
second  election  in  the  county  occurred  on  Octo- 
ber 10th,  1854.  That  in  South  Bend  precinct 
was  held  at  the  house  of  D.  C.  Evans,  with 
L.  Matthews,  ISToah  Armstrong  and  D.  0.  Evans 
as  Judges  of  Election  and  I.  S.  Lyons  as  Clerk 
I'lve  votes  were  cast  at  this  precinct,  forty-five 
at  the  Mankato  precinct,  and  thirteen  at  Kasota 
j)recinct,  maldng  fifty-three  votes  in  all.  Daniel 
T.  Bunker  was  elected  sheriff  over  Edwin  Howe, 
Vtho  on  the  resignation  of  Basil  Moreland  liad 
been  appointed  to  the  office  on  September  4th. 
Minard  Mills  was  elected  Judge  of  Probate; 
James  Thomson,  County  Treasurer;  D.  C.  Evans, 
County  Commissioner,  and  E.  Goodrich,  Sur- 
veyor. 

On  September  9th,  1854,  John  Lyons,  son 
of  I.  S.  Lyons  died,  and  was  buried  a  little 
Avest  of  the  present  Minneopa  Cemetery.  He 
was  about  twenty-one  years  old  and  of  a  very 
amiable  character.  His  death  was  the  first 
among  the  settlers  west  of  the  Blue  Earth. 
The  funeral  services  were  held  out  doors  in  a 
grove,  and  Eev.  James  Thomson  on  this  occas- 
ion preached  the  first  sermon  west  of  the  Blue 
Earth.  The  first  birth  among  the  settlers  west 
of  the  Blue  Earth  was  that  of  Elsie  J.  (now 
Mrs.  Bailey)  daughter  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  S.  H. 
Thorne  on  the  banks  of  Lake  Crystal  on  De- 
cember 13th,  1854.  The  winter  of  1854-5  was 
quite  severe,  with  deep  snow  and,  as  none  of 
the  settlers  were  very  well  housed  or  clad,  it 
entailed  no  little  suffering  and  hardship.  Deer 
and  all  kinds  of  game  were  plenty,  but  the  cold 
and   snow   made  hunting   a   very   arduous   sport. 


P.  K.  Johnson  bought  of  the  Indians  and  set- 
tlers during  the  winter  five  hundred  deer  pelts, 
killed  around  Mankato,  showing  something  of 
the  number  of  that  kind  of  game. 

In  spite  of  the  cold,  the  poor  houses,  the 
poor  clothing,  the  poor  food,  the  isolation,  and 
the  many  hardships  and  deprivations,  the  peo- 
ple were  mostly  young  and  strong  and  enjoyed 
their  frontier  life.  A  lyceum  had  been  started 
in  Mankato  as  early  as  the  winter  of  1853,  in 
which  all  took  great  interest.  It  had  closed 
in  the  spring  in  a  blaze  of  glory  with  a  grand 
exhibition.  The  Lady  of  the  Lake  was  drama- 
tized, there  were  songs,  recitations  and  comic 
farces.  John  E.  Harrison,  Minard  Mills,  Josiah 
Keene  and  Miss  Hanna  and  others  were  fine 
singers.  Josiah  Keene  made  a  great  hit  as  a 
colored  man,  wearing  a  pair  of  cow  hide  boots, 
he  had  borrowed  of  General  Matthews.  The 
General  was  quite  a  large  man  and  his  feet 
were  massive.  He  had  these  boots  constructed 
ample  enough  to  fit  over  his  other  shoes,  and 
truly  they  were  "Great."  It  toook  some  ^plo- 
macy  on  the  part  of  the  managers  to  keep  good 
old  Father  Thomson  from  not  being  over  much 
shocked  by  such  levity,  especially  when  Keene 
added  some  lively  tunes  on  his  ungodly  fiddle  to 
his  other  antics.  But  one  or  two  good  religious 
songs,  sang  in  the  minor  key  brought  the  old 
gentleman  to,  and  all  went  home  happy.  The 
winter  of  1854-5  saw  the  lyceum  more  flourish- 
ing than  ever,  because  of  the  added  numbers. 
There  were  learned  addresses,  fiery  debates,  and 
iiispiring  songs,  the  echoes  of  which  lingered  in 
the  souls  of  our  pioneers  for  many  a_  day,  and 
broke  the  monotony  of  the  wilderness  life. 


"TV 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

LOSS  OF  TBREITORY— WINNEBAGO  EES- 
EEVATION— EVENTS  OF  1885. 


Never  did  a  year  open  more  auspiciously  for 
our  county  than  1855.  The  streams  of  immi- 
gration, now  at  flood  height,  all  tended. to  the 
Llue  Earth  country;  capital  was  seekiag  there 
for  some  of  its  best  investments;  and  tiie  na- 
tural wealth  of  its  soil  was  budding  everywhere 
with  the  assurance  of  abundant  fruitage.  But 
just  as  sometimes  happens  with  our  Minnesota 
weather;  the  morning  opens  splendid  in  promise, 
bright,  clear  and  balmy,  when  suddenly  the 
entire  heavens  are  overcast,  and  the  splendid 
promise  of  the  morning  is  lost  in  a  dull,  damp 
desolate  day.  So  that  even  the  beauty  of  the 
morning  is  only  remembered  as  a  "weather 
breeder."  So  the  exceptional  bright  prospects 
of  our  county  were  doomed  to  a  sudden  and 
unexpected   eclipse. 

On  February  20th,  1855,  the  Territorial  Leg- 
islature, which  heretofore  had  been  so  lavish  to 
the  county  in  matter  of  territory,  now,  when 
it  was  ready  to  use  it,  changed  its  attitude.  On 
.the  ;east,-  south  and  west  the  present  boundaries 
■R  ere  adopted,  while  on  the.  north  the  entire 
township:  of  Kasota  including  also  the  present 
township  of  Lime  and  Jamestown  were  taken 
from  Blue  Earth  and  added  to  Le  Sueur  county. 
But  this  was  not  the  worst.  Seven  days  after 
the ,  passage  of  this  bill  by  our  Legislature,  a 
treaty  was  negotiated  on  February  37th,  1855, 
by  a  few  Winnebago  chiefs,  who  had  been  taken 
to  Washington  for  the  purpose,  whereby  these 
Indians  ceded  their  reservation  on  the  upper 
Mississippi  and  were  given  iastead  a  reservation 
in  Blue  Earth  and  Waseca  Counties,  thirty 
miles  long  east  and  west,  by  thirteen  miles  wide 
north  and  south.  The  north  line  of  this  reser- 
vation was  to  pass  through  the  juncture  of  the 


Le  Sueur  and  Blue  Earth  rivers.  This  point  it 
is  claimed  had  been  falsely  represented  to  Con- 
gress to  have  been  twenty  miles  distant  from 
Mankato.  The  portion  taken  from  Blue  Earth 
County  embraced  the  whole  of  McPherson,  Medo, 
Beauford,  Decoria,  Lyra  and  Eapidan  and  the 
south  tiers  of  sections  in  South  Bend,  Mankato 
and  Le  Ray,  six  townships  and  a  half  of  the 
very  best  farm  lands  in  the  county, — about  one- 
third  of  its  total  area, — taken  from  its  very  heart 
and  given  to  the  Indians,  while  two  full  town- 
ships and  a  fraction  were  cut  ofE  from  its  north- 
east corner  and  given  to  Le  Sueur  county.  All 
there  was  left  of  our  once  magnificent  fine 
county  was  a  thin  shell  embracing  at  its  center 
a  big  Indian  reservation.  In  those  days  before 
there  was  a  telegraph  or  even  a  railroad  news 
traveled  slowly.  Our  people  heard  of  their  loss 
of  territory  by  hand  of  the  Legislature,  however, 
a  month  or  more  before  the  news  from  Wash- 
ington. The  delegation  of  Winnebagoes,  who 
had  accompanied  General  Fletcher,  their  agent, 
to  Washington  comprised  three  chiefs  namely: 
Winneschiek  or  Waunk-annchakugah  (the  Com- 
ing Thunder),  Hoonch-ha-haykah  •  (Big  Bear), 
and  Hoonkhonokah  (Little  Priest),  and  three 
braves.  These  returned  to  St.  Paul  with  Gen- 
eral Fletcher  by  April  20th,  and  at  once  pro- 
ceeded with  him  to  the  Blue  Earth  country,  to 
inspect  their  new  reservation  and  to  accurately 
fix  its  boundaries,  for  the  matter  had  been  left 
somewhat  to  the  agent.  On  arriving  at  Mankato 
about  the  last  of  April,  General  Fletcher  em- 
ployed Evans  Goodrich,  the  County  Surveyor,  to 
run  the  lines  of  the  reservation.  The  people 
raised  the  most  vigorous  protests  against  these 
confiscations  of  their  territory.     They  were  the 


59 


60 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COTTNTY. 


main  topics  of  conversation  all  that  year.  On 
the  3nd  of  June  a  mass  meeting  convened  at 
Mankato  to  protest  against  the  Indian  reserva- 
tion. Theron  Parsons  was  chairman  and  Eo- 
bert  Wardlaw,  Secretary.  Speeches  were  made 
by:  Isaac  Andrus,  Basil  Moreland,  Lewis  Bran- 
son, P.  K.  Johnson  and  others.  Resolutions 
were  passed  protesting  against  the  taking  of  their 
homes  away  from  the  settlers,  against  the  putting 
so  many  savages  as  a  menace  to  the  lives  and 
property  of  the  adjacent  white  settlements,  and 
against  the  taking  so  much  territory  from  civ- 
ilization, and  the  county  of  Blue  Earth  for  the 
perpetuation  of  savagery  in  its  midst.  A  com- 
mittee was  appointed  to  present  the  memorial  to 
Governor  Gorman.  But  all  was  to  no  avail  so 
far  as  the  Indian  reservation  was  concerned,  for 
their  cry  for  redress  was  too  feeble  to  be  heard 
in  Washington.  About  the  middle  of  June  the 
entire  Wimnebago  tribe,  over  two  thousand 
strong,  broke  upon  Mankato  like  an  avalanche. 
Some  came  up  the  river  in  bark  canoes,  others 
came  upon  ponies  and  dog  carts,  and  still  others 
on  foot,  and  were  piloted  out  to  their  reserva- 
tion. General  Fletcher  fixed  upon  the  spot 
where  now  stands  the  village  of  St.  Clair  as 
the  headquarters  for  the  tribe,  and  here  he  had 
his  own  house  and  the  government  houses  and 
stores  erected,  and  the  place  was  designated  the 
''Winnebago  Agency." 

In  following  the  advent  of  the  Winnebagoes 
into  the  county  we  have  omitted  many  other 
lesser  events,  which  we  now  will  return  to 
chronicle.  The  office  of  sheriff  in  those  early 
days  was.  not  as  much  sought  for  as  in  subse- 
quent years.  Daniel  P.  Bunker  as  sheriS  elect 
should  have  taken  office  on  January  1st,  1855, 
but  he  sent  his  resignation  to  the  County  Board 
instead  and  Edwin  Howe,  who  had  served  under 
appointment  during  the  latter  half  of  1854, 
was  re-appointed  for  1855;  and  on  February 
21st,  Lewis  Branson  was  appointed  County  At- 
torney. The  County  Commissioners  for  this 
year  were  Bphraim  Cole,  Chairman,  D.  C.  Evans 
and  Joseph  W.  Babcock;  but,  by  cutting  Kasota 
from  the  county  of  Blue  Earth,  Mr.  Babcock 
was  legislated  out  of  office  on  April  1st,  1855, 
and  the  county  had  to  get  along  with  two  com- 


missioners for  the  balance  of  the  year.  Since 
the  spring  of  1854  most  of  the  county  offices 
had  been  located  in  the  Moreland  building  on 
lot  3  block  7,  where  most  everything  of  a  public 
nature  was  conducted.  Here  Father  Thomson 
preached  twice  every  Sabbath;  here  Sarah  J. 
Marsh,  and,  after  her.  Miss  Mary  Ann  Thomson 
tfiught  the  day  school,  here  was  held  the  lyceum 
and  debating  society.  On  top  of  the  building 
Father  Thomson  had  rigged  a  large  dinner  bell, 
he  had  brought  with  him  from  Indiana,  to  caD 
the  people  to  church.  This  bell  during  the  hot 
summer  months,  when  routed  from  their  beds 
by  mosquitoes,  the  young  men  used  to  ring  at 
midnight  to  the  great  annoyance  of  the  rest  of 
tiie  town. 

On  January  5th,  1855,  South  Bend  was  or- 
ganized into  a  separate  school  district,  designated 
No.  3  and  it  was  reported  that  there  were  eighty 
persons  between  the  ages  of  four  and  twenty- 
one  in  Blue  Earth  County  aside  from  Kasota. 
Even  the  snow  and  cold  of  winter  did  not  stop 
immigration  altogether.  About  February  10th, 
John  A.  Jones,  David  J.  Lewis  and  Evan  J. 
Lewis  arrived  in  South  Bend  from  Emmet,  Wis., 
having  made  the  journey  mostly  on  foot.  They, 
found  claims  in  the  vicinity  of  South  Bend  and, 
after  building  temporary  cabins,  returned  early 
in  March  to  Wisconsin  after  their  families  and 
neighbors.  In  March,  William  P.  Coffin  and 
Joel  Cloud  located  upon  section  five  of  Eapi- 
dan.  Francis  Veigh,  David  B.  Backus  and 
Frank  Obale  also  took  claims  early  in  the  spring 
in  Rapidan.  This  was  before  they  had  any 
knowledge  of  the  Winnebago  reservation  cover- 
ing these  lands. 

In  the  early  spring  Mankato  and  vicinity 
bad  a  small  Indian  scare.  Messrs.  Callen  and 
Mansfield,  who  had  been  domiciled  on  claims 
by  Rice  Lake,  came  hurrying  into  town  one 
day  saying  they  had  been  attacked  by  Indians. 
A  company  was  formed  and  started  for  the 
seat  of  trouble.  On  the  Le  Sueur  they  met  an 
Indian  lad,  about  eighteen  years  old  named 
"Joyce,"  who  was  quite  friendly  with  the  set- 
tlers and  a  favorite  among  them.  The  whites 
asked  him  about  the  matter  and  he  burst  into 
a  big  laugh,    and   explained  how   he   had  been 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


61 


out  hunting  with  other  Indians  on  Eice  Lake. 
1'hat  in  some  way  he  got  separated  from  his  com- 
panions and  to  signal  them  had  fired  his  gun 
three  or  four  times.  Thus  ended  the  scare  and 
the  company  marched  home. 

Before  navigation  had  fairly  opened  in  the 
spring  of  1855,  hundreds  of  settlers  were  pushing 
VTestward.  Some  came  by  teams  but  the  great 
majority  journeyed  on  foot.  On  the  18th  of 
April  Humphrey  Jones,  Thomas  Y.  Davis,  Wil- 
liam C.  Williams,  William  Jenkins,  Ed.  Pierce, 
John  Watkins,  William  Jones  and  Anthony 
Howells  arrived  at  South  Bend  from  Ohio  and 
Illinois  and  soon  located  upon  claims  in  the 
northwest  corner  of  Judson.  When  they  came 
the  ice  was  yet  firm  in  Lake  Pepin,  though  the 
river,  both  above  and  below,  was  open  and 
the  boats  running.  They  with  hundreds  of 
others  walked  from  the  foot  of  the  lake  to  its 
head  a  distance  of  thirty  miles,  to  catch  a  boat 
at  that  point  for  St.  Paul.  The  water  in  the 
Minnesota  continued  very  low  during  the  spring 
of  1855,  and  few  boats  were  able  to  ascend  be- 
yond the  rapids  at  Carver,  until  the  June  rains. 
John  Menne  and  John  Pohl  reached  St.  Paul 
from  Dubuque,  Iowa,  in  April  before  the  ice  was 
out  of  Lake  Pepin.  Meeting  John  Fresholtz  at 
the  capital  city,  they  were  induced  to  come  to 
Mankato  and  take  up  claims  in  its  vicinity. 
On  the  17th  the  first  boat  passed  through  Lake 
Pepin.  On  board  came  Edward  Brace,  who  with 
a  companion  footed  it  from  St.  Paul  to  Man- 
kato, and  that  fall  took  a  claim  near  Jackson 
Lake.  He  was  the  second  settler  in  Shelby. 
Norman  Jackson  who  had  been  obliged  to  aban- 
don his  claim  in  Lyra  because  it  was  on  the 
Winnebago  reservation,  preceding  Mr.  Brace  as 
first  settler  of  Shelby  only  by  a  few  weeks.  About 
the  middle  of  April  Evan  D.  Evans  arrived  at 
South  Bend  with  his  family  from  Blossbury, 
Pa.,  and  on  the  27th  of  the  same  month  came 
Evan  Evans  (Pant)  and  John  Jones  (Maes 
Mawr)  from  Waukesha,  Wis.  April  22nd  was 
held  the  first  prayer  meeting  west  of  the  Blue 
Earth.  The  place  was  the  cabin  of  John  Jones 
(Oshkosh)  on  Eush  Lake  and  those  present  were: 
Mr.  Jones  and  family,  William  C.  Williams, 
William    Jenkins,    Humphrey    Jones,    Thos.    Y. 


Davis  and  others  of  their  party.  April  39th  the 
first  prayer  meeting  in  South  Bend  village  was 
held  at  the  home  of  D.  C.  Evans,  then  occupied 
by  Evan  D.  Evans.  The  service  was  partly  in 
Welsh  and  partly  in  English,  both  nationalities 
being  present.  Those  taking  part  were  Evati 
D.  Evans,  Owen  Herbert,  Joshua  Barnard  and 
Evan  Evans  (Pant).  A  Sunday  school  had 
been  held  the  preceeding  February,  when  D.  C. 
Evans,  Joshua  Barnard,  Owen  Herbert,  John 
A.  Jones,  David  and  Evan  J.  Lewis  with  others 
would  gather  on  Sundays  at  Mr.  Evans'  house, 
and  read  chapters  of  the  Scriptures,  each  com- 
menting and  questioning  upon  his  own  verse 
after  the  Welsh  method.  Mr.  Barnard,  a  re- 
ligious man,  who  thereafter  became  an  efficient 
minister  of  the  M.  E.  Church,  usually  began 
those  Bible  studies  with  prayer.  None  of  South 
Bend  pioneers  at  that  time  had  much  musical 
ability,  so  Mr.  Barnard,  who  had  learned  to 
play  the  violin  in  his  youth,  would  lead  the  sing- 
ing by  first  thrumming  the  tune  over  on  an  old 
bass-viol,  then  all  joined  in  with  lusty  voices. 
On  the  5th  of  May  Edward  Thomas  Sr.,  ar- 
rived with  his  family  from  Pomeroy,  Ohio,  and 
on  the  second  Sabbath  of  that  month  was  started 
the  first  regular  Sunday  school  in  South  Bend, 
with  Dr.  E.  Thomas  as  superintendent.  Dr. 
Thomas  was,  also,  a  music  teacher,  and  he  sup- 
plied the  village  beyond  the  Blue  Earth  with 
their  lack  in  this  line.  He  had  the  whole  com- 
munity soon  organized  into  singing  classes.  May 
21st,  Thos.  M.  Pugh  and  Thomas  Phillips 
reached  South  Bend  from  Dodgeville,  Wis.  They 
made  the  journey  from  Shakopee  on  foot  in 
company  with  two  Germans.  Failing  to  reach 
a  house  by  night,  they  had  to  lodge  under  the 
twinkling  stars.  The  four  laid  down  in  a  row, 
on  a  blanket,  Pugh  on  the  outside,  and  being 
tired,  soon  fell  asleep.  Towards  midnight  Pugh 
was  awakened  by  the  loud  howling  of  the  wolves 
in  the  surrounding  forest.  After  listening  a 
while  to  their  dismal  cries,  at  times  sounding 
viciously  near,  he  began  to  think  his  outside 
position  not  the  most  desirable.  Next  to  him 
lay  a  sleek  fat  German  and  getting  up,  Pugh 
crawled  in  on  the  other  side  of  him,  saying  as 
he    pushed   the    Teuton    outward,    "The    Dutch- 


62 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


man  first  Mr.  Wolf."  The  early  settlers  well 
remember  how  numerous  the  wolves  were  dur- 
ing the  first  few  years,  and  how  they  made  night 
hideous  with  their  howlings.  As  a  rule  they 
were  a  small  harmless  kind,  though,  and  so 
timid  as  to  be  seldom  seen  by  day,  and  with  the 
settling  of  the  country  they  almost  entirely  dis- 
appeared. 

The  foreign  elements  which  came  to  Blue 
Earth  County  in  its  pioneer  days  were  not  only 
tJirifty  and  honest  but  as  a  rule  devoutly  relig- 
ious. The  majority  of  the  Germans  belong- 
ed to  the  Catholic  faith,  and  soon  aifter 
their  arrival  they  began  to  long  for  the  worship 
of  God  after  the  custom  of  their  fathers.  As 
early  as  December  30,  1854,  a  few  of  the  faithful 
oiies  gathered  at  the  log  hotel  of  Clements  Kron 
tj  consider  the  founding  of  a  Catholic  congre- 
gation at  Mankato.  Among  those  present  were: 
Micheal  Hund,  John  Bruels,  Philip  Hodapp, 
Peter  Schulte,  Frank  Borgmeier,  David  Heid- 
winkel,  Peter  Frenzel,  Carl  Prohnert,  Anton 
Jacoby,  Blasius  Yobst,  Clements  Kron,  Henry 
Sontag  and  Henry  Vahle.  In  the  spring  of 
1855  a  church  building  lot  was  bought  of  P. 
K.  Johnson  for  $300.00.  The  first  mass  in  the 
county  was  read  by  Father  A.  Eavaux,  the  In- 
dian missionary,  on  February  2nd,  1855,  at  the 
log  cabin  of  Micheal  Hund,  where  the  worthy 
father  was  stopping  over  night.  With  the  Win- 
nebagoes  came  to  the  county  a  number  of  white 
employees  connected  with  the  agency.  Most  of 
these  were  of  French  extraction  and  largely 
Catholic  in  religion.  Many  of  the  Indians,  also, 
belonged  to  that  faith. 

In  the  latter  part  of  June,  1855,  Bishop  Jos- 
eph Cretin  drove  by  team  from  his  home  in  St. 
Paul  to  visit  his  Mankato  flock,  and  on  June 
24th,  1855,  celebrated  the  first  public  mass  in 
Blue  Earth  County.  It  was  held  at  a  log  cabin 
donated  for  the  service  of  the  church  by  Michael 
Hund,  and  located  about  a  mile  east  of  the 
present  Mankato  church  on  the  Agency  road. 
I'his  service  was  a  privilege  greatly  enjoyed  by 
the  Catholic  brethren  and  they  gathered  from 
the  Winnebago  agency  and  from  all  parts  of  the 
county  to  hear  the  good  bishop.  He  encouraged 
the  Mankato  congregation  to  build  a  church  and 
a   building  committee  was   appointed,   of   which 


John  Bruels  was  secretary,  and  subscriptions 
obtained,  and  by  the  22nd  of  July  the  work 
on  the  foundations  of  a  stone  church  were  be- 
gun. Ludwig  Volz  had  the  contract  for  the 
stone  work  and  Gottfried  Eobel  for  the  lumber. 
Among  the  baptisms  administered  on  this  visit 
by  the  bishop  were,  Joseph  Kron,  the  first 
white  male  child  born  in  Mankato,  and  John 
B.  Hodapp,  now  and  for  many  prior  years  the 
City  Eecorder  of  Mankato.  About  the  first  of 
August  the  very  Eev.  Francis  De  Vivaldi,  apos- 
tolic missionary  to  the  Winnebago  Indians,  held 
services  at  the  agency. 

In  the  train  of  the  Winnebago  Indians  came 
a  few  men,  who  at  once  took  a  prominent  place 
in  the  business  affairs  of  the  county.  Among 
these  were  Isaac  Marks,  Asa  White  and  Henry 
Foster.  The  last  two  located  at  the  agency, 
but  Mr.  Marks  opened  a  general  store  at  Man- 
kato, and  for  years  the  firm  of  White  and 
Marks  was  the  most  prominent  emporium  of 
ti'ade  in  the  county.  In  the  spring  of  1855  the 
U.  S.  government  advertised  for  bids  to  construct 
the  military  road,  surveyed  by  Captain  Eeno 
in  1853  between  Mendota  and  the  Big  Sioux 
river.  Three  contracts  were  let  covering  the 
portion  of  this  road  between  South  Bend  and 
Mendota,  and  two  went  to  Captain  William 
Dodd  of  St.  Peter,  who  on  June  14th  began 
work  with  sixty  men  and  eight  or  ten  yokes  of 
oxen.  The  construction  of  this  important  high- 
way greatly  aided  travel  between  our  county  and 
St.  Paul. 

About  June  1,  1855,  Morris  Lewis  and  David 
A.  Davis,  located  claims  in  the  present  town  of 
Cambria  and  on  the  12th  of  the  same  month, 
John  E.  Davis  and  family  arrived,  having  come 
in  a  covered  wagon  from  Illinois.  He  was  the 
first  actual  settler  in  that  town.  He  was  soon 
followed  by  John  Nicholson  and  family  and 
George  Gilley  and  family.  In  July,  David  J. 
Davis,  David  J.  Williams,  David  Y.  Davis  and 
others  located  in  the  same  town,  then  known  as 
the    Cottonwood    settlement. 

A  Welsh  preacher,  named  Eev.  Eichard  Davis, 
whose  home  had  been  at  La  Crosse,  had  done 
much  to  arouse  the  interest  of  the  Welsh  people 
in  South  Bend  and  Blue  Earth  County  by  ar- 
ticles in  the  periodicals  of  that  nationality.     In 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


63 


July  he  removed  to  South  Bend  being  the  first 
minister  to  settle  there.  In  June,  John  A. 
Jones,  Evan  and  David  J.  Lewis  returned  to 
South  Bend  bringing  their  families  and  a  num- 
ber of  their  neighbors.  Of  this  colony  were,  be- 
sides the  families  named  Evan  H.  Evans,  Hugh 
Edwards,  William  J.  Roberts,  John  Pugh,  Sr., 
Griffith  Eoberts,  Eobert  R.  Williams,  Thomas 
J.  Jones  (Bryn  Llys),  and  David  Evans,  all  from 
Emmet  near  Watertovra,  Wis.  They  came  across 
the  country  by  way  of  La  Crosse  and  Rochester 
in  eleven  covered  wagons  with  their  families, 
household  goods,  farming  implements  and  cat- 
tle, making  a  great  company,  so  that  David 
Lyon  of  La  Crosse  told  D.  C.  Evans,  who  hap- 
pened to  be  there  a  few  days  after  they  passed, 
that  there  were  thousands  of  them.  They  were 
six  weeks  making  the  journey.  A  religious  peo- 
ple, too,  were  they,  who  in  all  their  weary 
journey  did  not  forget  the  worship  of  God  a 
single  Sunday.  Crossing  the  Mississippi  oppo- 
site La  Crosse  on  Saturday,  they  halted  over 
the  Sabbath,  May  34,  1855,  and  had  Eev.  Rich- 
ard Davis  come  across  in  a  skiff  and  preach  to 
them  there  in  the  wilderness.  This  was  the 
first  Welsh  sermon  in  Minnesota,  and  probably 
the  first  west  of  the  Father  of  Waters.  Near 
the  Straight  river  they  were  overtaken  by  a 
detachment  dfi  several  hundred  Winnebagoes 
from  Wisconsin,  on  their  way  to  their  new  res- 
ervation in  Blue  Earth  County.  The  sight  of 
KO  many  savages  and  the  thought  that  they  were 
to  be  such  close  neighbors,  rather  intimidated  our 
immigrants  and  they  halted  some  days  in  doubt 
whether  to  advance,  retreat  or  go  elsewhere. 
The  majority  concluded  to  go  ahead  and  the 
others  soon  followed.  Arriving  at  the  top  of 
the  Main  street  hill  overlooking  Mankato,  they 
adopted  a  novel  method  of  letting  their  loads 
down  the  steep  bluff.  A  number  of  trees  were 
chopped  down  and  one  hitched  behind  each 
wagon.  They  answered  the  purpose  of  brakes 
most  successfully.  This  colony  located  along 
Minneopa  Creek. 

On  June  24,  1855,  Rev.  William  Williams,  a 
Baptist  preacher  from  Big  Rock,  111.,  visited 
South  Bend  and  preached  there  the  first  Welsh 
sermon  in  Blue  Earth  County.     About  July  8th, 


Eev.  Richard  Davis  removed  from  La  Crosse  to 
South  Bend  and  was  the  first  Welsh  minister 
to  settle  in  the  county.  On  the  1st  of  August, 
1855,  he  organized  at  his  own  cabin  in  South 
Bend  village  the  first  Welsh  church  in  the 
county.  It  was  an  Union  church  with  five 
deacons  and  forty-three  members.  Rev.  R.  Davis 
was  pastor;  Edward  Thomas,  Sr.,  Secretary,  and 
the  Deacons  were:  Evan  H.  Evans,  Evan  Evans 
(Pant),  William  R.  Price,  William  J.  Roberts, 
and  Edward  Thomas,  Sr.  As  far  as  known  this 
was  the  first  regular  church  in  the  county.  Reg- 
ular Sabbath  services  were  held  thereafter  at 
South  Bend  village. 

On  August  31st,  1855,  the  First  Presbyterian 
church  of  Mankato  was  formally  organized  by 
Rev.  James  Thomson  at  the  Hanna  residence, 
in  the  rear  of  the  lot  now  occupied  by  the  First 
National  Bank.  The  following  seventeen  per- 
sons, each  bearing  a  letter  from  an  eastern 
church  comprised  the  charter  members  of  the 
new  church:  Maria  H.  Thomson,  Juliet  Thom- 
son, Mary  Ann  Thomson,  William  H.  Thomson, 
Amos  D.  Seward,  Henry  Schuler,  Jonathan  B. 
Stanley,  Nancy  Hanna,  Margaret  Ann  Hanna, 
Sarah  Jane  Hanna,  Cornelius  Vannice,  Susan 
Vannice,  George  C.  Clapp,  Marietta  Clapp  and 
Sarah  Maxfield.  A.  D.  Seward  was  chosen  elder 
and  was  the  only  church  officer  elected  for 
years.  At  the  Methodist  Episcopal  conference 
held  in  June,  1855,  Rev.  Lewis  Bell  was  ap- 
pointed to  have  charge  of  preaching  stations  at 
]\rankato,  Le  Sueur,  Traverse  des  Sioux,  Shako- 
pee  and  Henderson,  making  quite  an  extensive 
parish.  He  preached  his  first  sermon  at  Man- 
kato on  July  1st  of  that  year. 

On  the  evening*  of  July  4th,  1855,  the  open- 
ing of  the  Mankato  House  was  duly  celebrated 
with  a  big  supper  and  ball  to  which  the  settlers 
gathered  from  far  and  near,  and  a  royal  time 
was  had. 

About  August  1st,  the  Sioux  Indians  gave 
their  new  neighbors,  the  Winnebagoes,  a  great 
reception  feast  at  Mankato,  which  in  number  of 
guests  and  the  demonstrations  held,  far  outdid 
the  opening  of  the  white  man's  wigwam.  The 
streets,  the  woods,  and  the  river  literally  swarmed 
for   several    days    with   these   dusky   denizens   of 


64 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


the   wilderness.      Their   e&stumes,   consisting   al- 
most wholly  of  paint  and  feathers,  were  gorgeous. 
Their  principle  gathering  place  was  in  Warren 
and  Van  Brant's  Additions.     Four  or  more  of 
the  largest  teepees  were  joined  together  to  form 
the  feast  lodges.     The  sound  of  the  tom  toms 
and   dance    songs    was    scarcely    hushed    day    or 
night.     Our  old  settler  friend,  \Y.  P.  Coffin,   re- 
members coming  to  Mankato  during  the  days  of 
this  feast  from  his  Eapidan  claim.    As  all  the  pio- 
neers well  recall,  cattle  were  much  afraid  of  In- 
dians, and  would  scent  them  from  afar  and  run 
from    them.      Mr.    Coffin    had    a    pair   of    very 
young    steers    and    the    smell    and.  sight    of    so 
many  Indians  had  put  them  in  a  quiver  of  ex- 
citement and  terror.     A  mischievous  young  buck 
noticing  the  frantic  behavior  of  the  oxen  slipped 
o-i  his  blanket  and,  with  a  yell  that  might  have 
split    Gibralter,    smote    them    on    the   back.      A 
modem    runaway    on    Front    street   would    have 
been  a  tame  affair  compared  to  what  that  thor- 
oughfare then  saw,   and   it  took  Mr.    Coffin    a 
long  time  to  find  his  oxen  and  wagon  again.     In 
those  early  days  the  Indians  were  very  numerous 
in  the  land  and  were  regarded  with  much  dis- 
trust and  fear  by  the  settlers  before  they  became 
used  to  them.     Frequently  a  number  of  dusky 
braves,  much  to  the  terror  of  the  women   and 
children,  would  come  to  a  cabin,  peer  in  at  the 
window  or  door,  walk  into  the  room  unbidden, 
and   drawing  their  blankets   about  them,   sit   on 
the   floor   in    a   row    against   the    wall,    smoking 
their  long  stone  pipes  in  silence.     Then  rising, 
by  signs  and  Indian  speech  they  would  beg  for 
something  to  eat,  which  usually  would  be  given 
them   if  there   was   a  morsel   in   the   house,   in 
order  to  get  rid  of  them.     After  a  while  every 
settler    provided    himself    with    a    good    savage 
watch  dog,  which  from  religious  veneration,  the 
red   man   seldom   killed.     When    on   a   drunken 
spree  or  when  holding  their  wild  dancing  feasts, 
the  Indians  were  very  noisy  and  demonstrative, 
and   often   in  the   weary   watches   of  the   night 
would    the    poineers    shudder    as    he   heard    the 
tumult   of  their   revelry.      One   beautiful    night 
in   July,   1855,    as   Humphrey   Jones,   Thos.   Y. 
Davis,    Owen    Eoberts    and    Morris    Lewis    were 
sitting    in    their    newly    finished    cabin    in    the 


northwest  corner  of  Judson,  they  were  startled 
by  the  most  blood  curdling  yells  and  shrieks 
and  pounding  of  drums  and  firing  of  guns  in 
the  direction  of  an  Indian  camp,  situated  in 
the  edge  of  the  timber  about  a  quarter  of  a 
mile  distant.  Eunning  out  they  could  see  that 
the  whole  village  was  in  the  wildest  commotion. 
Men  and  women  running,  leaping  and  yelling 
like  raving  demoniacs,  and  beating  upon  kettles 
and  Indian  drums,  with  a  hubbub  like  pande- 
monium. Our  friends,  newly  arrived  from  the 
coal  mines  of  Ohio,  spent  a  night  of  terror  in 
their  hut,  expecting  every  moment  to  be  mur- 
dered by  the  savages,  who,  all  night  long  with 
unabated  fury  continued  their  hideous  riot. 
Carried  by  the  breeze  the  noise  ever  and  anon 
seemed  to  approach  close  to  the,  cabin,  then  it 
would  recede  again.  When  morning  came  at 
last  all  was  quiet  and  peaceful,  and  our  four 
friends  found  their  scalps  had  not  been  dis- 
turbed. During  the  day  an  Indian  boy,  dis- 
posed to  cultivate  the  acquaintance  of  the  pale- 
faced  strangers,  paid  them  a  visit,  and  of  him 
they  inquired  the  cause  of  the  night's  uproar. 
"Sick;  so  big"  (measuring  with  his  hand  about 
two  feet  from  the  floor),  was  the  laconic  reply. 
They  finally  understood  that  a  papoose  had 
been  taken  very  ill  during  the  night  and  the 
savages  thought  that  the  Evil  one  was  prowling 
around  trying  to  steal  its  soul,  and  the  noise 
was  made  to   scare  him  away. 

Another  obnoxious  occupant  of  the  land,  more 
numerous  than  the  wolves  or  Indians,  and  much 
more  aggressive  in  their  hostility,  were  the 
mosquitoes.  N'one  but  the  oldest  pioneers  can 
form  any  idea  of  what  a  plague  these  pests 
were  in  the  early  days.  The  rank  grass  of  the 
prairie,  encircling  so  many  lakes  and  sloughs, 
and  the  thick  underbrush  of  the  forests,  with 
the  many  bogs,  brooks  and  rivers,  bordered  by 
dense  thickets,  seemed  a  very  paradise  for  these 
blood-thirsty  little  vampires.  Should  it  be  cloudy, 
one  could  hardly  endure  them  during  the  day; 
but  when  evening  came,  the  atmosphere  was 
alive  with  them,  a  million  to  every  cubic  inch, 
and  as  ferociously  hungry  as  though  they  had 
fasted  for  a  year  and  a  day.  The  rude  huts 
of    the    settlers,    without    the    many    protecting 


14 
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HISTOKY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


05 


devices,  which  invention  and  money  furnish  to 
modern  life,  afforded  but  little  shelter  against 
this  annoying  foe. 

Thus  amid  Indians,  wolves,  mosquitoes  and 
wild  nature  in  general,  our  sturdy  pioneer  be- 
gan the  work  of  bringing  the  savage  Wilderness 
into  civilized  subjection.  A  great  work  too  it- 
was,  much  greater  than  we  of  today  can  ever 
appreciate.  No  houses,  no  lumber,  no  fields, 
no  .fences,  no  farming  implements,  no  seed,  no 
schools,  no  churches,  no  highways,  no  bridges, 
no  mills,  no  money,  no  food,  no  towns  wherein 
to  buy  the  necessaries  of  life,  and  no  railway 
to  bring  in  a  few  hours  these  things  from  afar; 
but  with  a  slow  ox  team  plodding  through  the 
tall  grass  of  the  prairie  and  the  thick  tangled 
underbrush  of  the  unbroken  forest,  now  fast 
in  some  bottomless  slough,  and  having  to  carry 
on  his  back  the  load  and  the  wagon  out  by 
piece  meal,  now  descending  at  the  peril  of  his 
neck  into  some  ravine,  and  again  with  much 
labor  climbing  the  steep  precipice  out  of  it,  here 
having  a  narrow  escape  from  drowning  in  at- 
tempting to  ford  a  river,  there  almost  dashed 
in  pieces  by  the  upsetting  of  the  wagon  over 
the  precipitous  edge  of  some  narrow  hillside 
trail,  ever  from  one  adventure  and  peril  to  an- 
otber,  on  the  long,  long  journev  of  one  hundred 
miles  to  St.  Paul  after  a  little  flour  and  pro- 
visions. Three  week?  are  spent  in  going^  to  this 
nearest  market  and  back,  without  shelter  from 
summer's  heat  and  rain,  and  from  winter's 
cold  and  stormy  blast.  TTp  mav  Tierish  in  the 
snow  and  storm,  his  family  in  the  little  bark 
roofed  shantv  mav  perish  from  cold  and  hnnsrer. 
Then  when  in  response  to  their  hard  toil  the 
(rround  bejran  to  vield  her  increase  and  their 
flocks  to  multiplv.  there  was  no  market  for  their 
little  surnlus  and  for  manv  a  year  all  their 
labor  and  sacrifice  Yielded  but  scant  reward.  All 
honor  to  the  sturdy  nioneer!  Wortbv  are  thev 
of  lone  remembrance!  "NTohlv  thev  suffered, 
bravely  they  stma'a'led  in  the  strife  with  savage 
nature  and  savage  men.  ninched  bv  novertv, 
around  under  the  heal«  of  one  advprsitv  after 
another:  vet  with  heroic  faith  and  fortitude 
thev  faced  each  foe ;  and  one  hv  one  ere  scarce 
the  battle  ceased,  they  fell  covered  with  the 
scars   of  toil    and   hardship,   leaving  to   us   who 


follow  the  fruits  of  their  glorious  victory,  in 
happy  homes,  fields  smiling  with  cultivation, 
cities  bustling  with  trade,  churches,  schools, 
manufactories,  transportation  facilities,  a  com- 
monwealth rich  and  prosperous.  The  modern 
pioneer  preceded  by  railroads,  telegraphs  and 
all  the  modem  conveniences,  knows  little  of 
pioneer  life  fifty  years  ago. 

The  year  1855  saw  a  number  of  settlements 
started  in  various  parts  of  the  county.  We  have 
seen  how  the  Germans  were  occupying  the  tim- 
ber farms  of  ilankato  and  Lime  Township,  how 
the  Welsh  colony  from  Emmett,  •  Wis.,  took  pos- 
session of  the  county  along  Minneopa  Creek, 
while  Welsh  immigrants  from  Ohio,  Illinois, 
and  Pennsylvania  settled  along  the  timber  of 
the  Minnesota  in  Judson  and  Cambria.  Be- 
sides those  we  have  already  named,  Eev. 
William  Williams,  a  Baptist  preacher,  settled 
with  his  family  on  Judson  Bottom.  David  T. 
Davis  and  family,  Henry  Hughes  and  family, 
Evan  .T.  Davis,  and  many  others  settled  in 
Judson  and  Cambria  this  year.  Just  across  the 
river  from  Judson  village  located  David  J. 
Williams  (Bradford)  and  Evan  Bowen  and 
families.  Later  they  moved  into  Blue  Earth 
County. 

We,  also,  noted  how  the  previous  year  settlers 
had  located  along  the  Maple  in  Eapidan  and 
near  the  junction  of  the  Watonwan  and  Blue 
Earth.  The  year  1855  saw  a  number  of  ac- 
cessions to  the  settlements  on  the  Watonwan 
and  the  claims  adjacent  to  that  stream  taken 
as  far  as  Ceresco  and  Lincoln.  Among  the 
settlers  of  that  year  to  locate  in  Garden  City 
were:  William  P.  Thompson  and  family,  John 
C.  Thompson  and  family,  Joseph  Derby  and 
family,  John  Derby  and  family,  John  B.  Skin- 
ner and  family.  James  Gale  and  family,  Edsort 
Gerry,  Mr.  Esmond,  Georg-e  Atwell.  Gehiel  Abar, 
David  D.  Hunter  and  family,  Ithimer  Town 
and  family,  Abraham  Lvtle  and  family.  J.  H. 
Greenwood  and  Warren  Greenwood.  In  Ceresco, 
Fellows  D.  Pease  and  William  D.  Gray  had 
located  in  the  summer  of  1855,  on  the  north  side 
oi  the  Watonwan,  a  little  above  the  mouth  of 
Perch  Creek.  Mr.  Gray  kept  a  small  store  of 
Indian  ffoods.  In  October  of  the  same  year 
A.  B.  Barney  and  D.  K.  Shaw  made  claims  in 


66 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


Ceresco,  while  Charles  Barney  at  the  same 
time  settled  in  the  northwest  corner  of  Ver- 
non Township.  Other  settlers  who  located 
in  Vernon  this  year  were  Isreal  Wing,  James 
Taylor,  Marquis  L.  Plumb,  Eobert  Marley, 
Zenas  Scott,  George  M.  Keenan,  Joseph  W. 
Darling,  John  A.  Darling  and  Thos.  Doke. 
These  settled  along  the  Blue  Earth.  In  Shelby, 
besides  Korman  W.  Jackson,  his  son  Eli  N. 
Jackson,  son-in-law,  Hiram  Luddington,  and 
Edward  Brace,  who  made  claims  by  Lakes  Ida 
and  Jackson,  a  number  of  people  located  this 
year  along  the  Blue  Earth.  Among  these  were : 
Tobias  Miller,  John  Doke,  Wrn.  Clark,  Sanford 
Allen,  Kasper,  Geo.  J.  and  Simon  HofEman, 
Chas.  C.  Mack  and  Jesse  Jdack,  Eudolph,  Jo- 
seph and  William  Crandall.  In  the  summer  of 
1855,  Verpucius  A.  Highland  became  the  first 
settler  in  Sterling.  He  and  his  family  drove 
across  the  country  in  a  covered  wagon,  from 
Illinois,  and  located  on  sections  three  and  four. 
He  had  brought  with  him  a  fine  drove  of  cattle 
and  the  balance  of  the  summer  was  largely 
taken  up  in  putting  up  hay  for  the  coming 
winter.  As  all  hay  in  those  days  had  to  be  cut 
with  a  scA-the  and  gathered  with  a  hand  rake, 
it  was  not  an  easy  task  to  provide  food  enough 
for  a  herd  of  cattle  to  last  a  long  Minnesota 
winter.  Mr.  Highland  had  finally  got  his  hay 
all  put  up  in  stacks  near  his  cabin.  On  the 
l-ith  of  October,  the  smoke  of  a  big  prairie  fire 
rose  in  the  southwest  in  the  vicinity  of  Jackson 
Lake.  The  wind  was  blowing  a  hard  gale  from 
that  direction  and  the  grass  was  like  tinder. 
Soon  the  hurricane  of  flame  and  smoke  came 
leaping  and  bounding  across  the  prairie  straight 
for  the  Highland  home  and  haystacks.  Fortu- 
nately between  them  and  the  oncoming  wave 
of  fire  was  a  strip  of  breaking.  This  bit  of 
plowed  land  parted  the  wall  of  flame  and  it 
swept  swiftly  by  on  either  side,  lashed  to  fury 
by  the  wind,  and  leaving  a  trail  of  black  de- 
solation behind.  But  the  grass  was  so  dry  and 
abundant  that  a  fire  now  began  working  in 
from  both  sides  in  the  rear  of  the  plowed  land, 
and  every  effort  to  extinguish  it  proved  futile, 
and  in  a  short  time  all  that  remained  of  the 
stacks  of  hay,  which  had  cost  such  labor  and 
on  which  so  much  depended,  were  three  or  four 


ash   heaps.     After   a   desperate  fight,   the   cabin 
was  saved. 

Mr.  Highland  made  a  heroic  struggle  to  save 
his  cattle  by  procuring  food  for  them  wherever 
he  could,  but  many  of  them  perished.  In  those 
days  when  the  vast  illimitable  prairies  were 
covered  with  a  rank,  thick  herbage,  which  in  the 
many  sloughs  grew  to  the  height  of  eight  to 
twelve  feet,  a  prairie  fire  in  the  fall  of  the 
year,  when  all  was  dry,  was  most  dangerous. 
Driven  by  the  high  autumnal  winds  amid  such 
abundant  combustible  material,  nothing  could 
stay  its  fury.  With  the  roar  and  speed  of  the 
hurricane  it  sped  over  the  plains,  grand,  ma- 
jestic and  terrible,  like  the  burning  of  a  thou- 
sand Eomes,  and  struck  terror  into  the  heart 
of  the  pioneer.  Many  a  poor  settler  suffered 
from  its  rage.  His  fences,  his  sheds,  his  stacks 
of  hay  and  grain,  and  sometimes  his  little  cabin 
home  and  all,  would  in  a  few  moments  be  swept 
away  by  this  besom  of  destruction,  leaving  him 
and  his  family  and  stock  stripped  of  every- 
thing against  the  winters  cold  and  hunger.  Every 
autumn  the  smoke  of  these  fires  would  darken 
the  sun,  while  nightly  the  sky  would  be  lit  by 
their  glow.  Far  off  on  the  distant  prairies 
night  after  night  the  long  seried  ranks  of  shin- 
ing flames  could  be  seen.  A  beautiful  picture, 
when  the  danger  was  eliminated,  and  one  that 
haunts    the    memory    of    many    a    pioneer. 

On  August  20th,  1855,  the  election  precinct 
of  Eice  Lake  was  created  comprising  all  of  the 
county  lying  south  of  the  Le  Sueur  and  east 
of  the  Maple  rivers.  Chas.  Mansfield,  A.  W. 
Callen  ■  and  Joseph  L.  Alexander  were  appointed 
its  first  election  judges.  On  the  same  date  the 
precinct  of  Watonwan  was  also  formed,  with 
Chas.  Gilchrist,  Orlin  J.  Westover  and  S.  Titus 
Mills  as  Election  Judges.  It  had  for  its  boun- 
daries the  Maple  river  on  the  east,  the  county 
lines  on  the  south  and  west,  and  the  Town- 
ship line  between  107  and  108  for  its  northern 
limits. 

On  this  same  30th  of  August  occurred  the 
second  opening  of  bids  for  construction  of  the 
Big  Sioux  and  Mendota  road.  The  largest  bid 
was  for  the  construction  of  a  bridge  over  the 
Blue  Earth  river  between  Mankato  and  South 
Bend,    It  called  for  a  structure  eighty  feet  long 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


07 


by  sixteen  feet  wide,  consisting  of  five  spans, 
to  be  completed  by  May  1st,  1856.  This  im- 
portant contract  went  to  S.  J.  Frazier  of  St. 
Anthony,  who  sublet  much  of  it  to  T.  D.  War- 
ren of  Mankato,  and  work  was  started  during 
the  fall  and  continued  during  tlae  winter  with 
a  large  force  of  men.  The  frame  work  of  the 
bridge  was  all  completed  before  the  spring 
freshet,  and  the  floor  and  railings  put  in  place 
soon  after.  This  was  the  first  bridge  of  any 
importance  constructed  in  Blue  Earth  County 
and  was  a  great  convenience  to  the  settlers.  It 
cost   the    government    $10,000. 

On  the  9th  of  October,  1855,  was  held  the 
third  election  in  the  county.  The  main  ques- 
tion, which  concerned  Blue  Earth  County,  was 
how  to  regain  the  territory,  which  Le  Sueur 
had  taken  from  it  tlie  previous  winter.'  The 
majority  were  of  the  opinion  that  P.  K.  John- 
son was  the  best  man  to  send  to  the  Legisla- 
ture for  the  purpose,  because  of  his  acquaintance 
at  St.  Paul  and  elsewhere  through  the  terri- 
tory at  that  time.  He  was  accordingly  elected 
with  this  special  commission.  For  County  com- 
missioners, Theron  Parsons  was  elected  for  the 
three  year  term  and  A.  W.  Callen  for  Babcock's 
unexpired  term  of  one  year.  Mr.  Callen  hav- 
ing moved  away  never  qualified,  and  on  April 
7,  1856,  William  E.  Eobinson  was  appointed  to 
fill  the  vacancy.  The  board  consisted  in  1856 
of:  Theron  Parsons,  Chairman,  D.  C.  Evans 
and  (after  April  7th,)  William  E.  Eobinson. 
The  other  officers  elect  were :  Sheriff,  Francis 
Bunker ;  Eegister  of  Deeds,  George  H.  Marsh ; 
County  Treasurer,  John  0-  A.  Marsh ;  Judge  of 
Probate,  Minard  Mills ;  Surveyor,  Basil  l\Ioreland. 
At  this  election  Mankato  cast  86  votes.  South 
Bend  31,  Watonwan  ?2,  Eice  Lake  27,  making 
a  total  of  186  votes  in  the  county.  On  August 
2,  1855,  the  County  Board  had  received  a 
petition  signed  by  Philander  Prescott  and  many 
others  asking  for  the  establishment  of  two  vot- 
ing precincts,  one  at  the  Upper,  and  the  other 
at  the  Lower  Sioux  Agencies.  As  these  pre- 
cincts were  beyond  the  limits  of  Blue  Earth 
Countv  the  Board  doubted  its  iurisdiction  in 
the  matter  and  postponed  action.  On  the 
twenty-seventh  of  the  same  month  a  petition  was 
received  from  twenty-four  legal  voters  of  Brown 


County,  asking  for  an  election  precinct  to 
comprise  the  territory  between.  Blue  Earth  Coun- 
ty and  the  Sioux  Eeservation  and  laying  south 
of  the  Minnesota  Eiver.  This  petition,  though 
relating  to  a  matter  beyond  the  county's  boun- 
dary, was  granted.  New  Ulm  was  designated 
as  the  place  at  which  the  election  should  be 
held  and  August  Kisling,  Fredrick  Bebberke, 
and  Albert  Behnke  were  appointed  Judges  of 
Election;  and  Henry  Behnke  was  made  Jus- 
tice of  the  Peace  and  Ludwig  Myer,  Constable. 
At  the  October  election  both  the  New  Ulm 
and  Lower  Sioux  Agency  precincts  cast  theii* 
ballots  for  the  Territorial  and  Legislative  can- 
didates, which  were  canvassed  among  the  Blue 
Earth  County  precincts.  There  were  45  votes  at 
New  Ulm  and  24  at  the  Lower  Agency.  They 
did  not  vote  for  any  county  official. 

The  Autumn  of  1855  saw  the  building  of 
the  two  first  school  houses  in  the  county,  one 
at  iiiankato  and  the  other  at  South  Bend.  Both 
were  rude  log  structures,  but  they  answered  the 
purpose  in  those  early  days.  As  there  was  no 
school  tax  raised  for  the  purpose,  the  buildingf? 
were  almost  wholly  erected  by  voluntary  con- 
tributions. John  S.  Hinckley  donated  one 
lot  and  the  Mankato  Claim  Company  gave  an- 
other for  the  site,  being  lots  three  and  four  in 
block  thirtjr-eight  of  Mankato.  Father  Thom- 
son and  A.  D.  Seward  took  the  lead  in  the 
erection  of  the  building.  Some  were  in  favor 
of  building  a  church,  which  could  be  used  for 
school  purposes  during  the  week,  but  the  ma- 
jority favored  the  construction  of  a  school  house, 
which  could  be  used  for  a  church  on  Sunday. 
All  worked  with  a  will  and  the  building  was 
completed  by  the  first  of  November.  It  was 
constructed  of  logs  hewn  on  one  side,  which 
were  laid  to  face  inward.  Its  size  was  24  feet 
bv  30  feet.  It  had  a  door  in  the  middle  of 
the  south  end  and  there  were  two  windows  on 
its  east  side  and  two  on  its  west  side.  The 
ladies  of  the  Presbyterian  church  had  formed 
that  summer  an  aid  society  and  had  collected 
a  few  dollars  from  suppers.  These  were  ex- 
pended in  buying-  window  curtains  and  a  stove 
for  the  new  edifice,  costing  about  twentv-five 
dollars.  Hardly  had  the  building  been  com- 
pleted, when  it  was  dedicated  by  a  mass  meeting 


68 


HISTOKY  OF  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


to  protest  against  the  selling  of  liquor  to  In- 
dians. A.  D.  Seward  was  chairman,  and  Henry 
Jackson,  secretary.  Speeches  were  made  by 
Lewis  Branson,  Eev.  Thomson,  General  Flet- 
cher, the  "Winnebago  Agent,  and  others.  Eev. 
Thomson,  Theron  Parsons,  George  Maxfield, 
Samuel  Kitchen  and  John  S.  Hinckley  were 
appointed    a    committee    on   resolutions. 

It  seems  that  a  number  of  Winnebagoes  had 
been  to  town  and,  getting  drunk,  had  painted 
the  village  red.  A  sober  Indian  was  not  a 
desirable  person,  but  a  drunken  one  was  a  hun- 
dred times  worse.  Liquor  seemed  to  fire  all 
their  fiendish  propensities.  The  law  was  quite 
strict  against  selling  any  intoxicants  to  Indians, 
but  there  had  been  some  flagrant  violations, 
which  had  stirred  the  people  up.  On  the  mor- 
row after  this  meeting  the  people  turned  out 
en  masse  and  broke  up  all  the  liquor  shops  in 
town    and    poured    the  liquors    into    the    streets. 

For  a  brief  period  there  was  law  enforcement 
at  Mankato,  but  when  the  storm  of  righteous 
indignation  was  over,  poor  Lo  moistened  his 
tongue  in  fire  water  as  before.  The  school 
house,  soon  after  the  exciting  scenes  '  of  this 
reform  were  over,  was  put  in  charge  of  L.  G.  M. 
Fletcher,  the  first  regularly  emplo^^ed  teacher 
in  the  county.  The  district  only  had  $70.00 
in  its  treasury.  With  this  it  hired  Mr.  Fletcher 
for  two  months  at  $35.00  per  month,  but  he 
was  so  interested  in  the  work  that  he  donated 
his  services  for  an  extra  month.  There  were 
thirty-seven  scholars  enrolled  in  this  first  regu- 
larly  organized    District   School   of   the    County. 

The  South  Bend  school  house  was  started 
early  in  September,  with  Evan  Evans  (Pant) 
and  William  Francis  in  charge  of  its  construc- 
tion. Through  lack  of  funds  it  was  not  com- 
pleted until  early  in  the  winter.  Like  the  Man- 
kato building  it  served  for  educational  and  hall 
purposes  during  the  week,  and  on  Sunday  it 
answered  for  a  church.  This  school  house  was 
situated  near  the  present  residence  of  D.  P. 
Davis  in  South  Bend.  The  first  school  in 
South  Bend  had  been  taught  during  the  sum- 
mer of  1855  by  Mrs.  Joshua  Barnard  at  her  own 


home.  A  short  term  was  held  during  the  win- 
ter, with  Edward  Thomas  probably  as  teacher. 
A  literary  and  debating  society  was  organized 
early  in  the  winter  at  South  Bend,  which  met 
regularly  at  the  school  house.  D.  C.  Evans  or 
Eev.  Eichard  Davis  usually  presided.  It  was 
a  live  organization  in  which  every  important 
question  was  discussed,  with  perhaps  more  earn- 
estness than  learning.  But  the  whole  country 
was  interested,  and  came  many  miles  with  their 
ox  teams,  through  snow,  cold  and  darkness. 
Preaching  services  and  Sunday  schools  were 
regularly  observed  there   on  the   Sabbath. 

Dr.  Edward  Thomas  held  singing  schools 
there,  also,  and  the  deserted  village  of  today 
was  then  a  very  live  place.     In  the  fall  of  1855 

D.  C.  Evans  and  W.  E.  Price  erected  a  saw 
mill  at  the  village,  which  they  began  to  operate 
on  the  twenty-third  of  the  following  February,  to 
the  great  convenience  of  the  settlers  in  that 
vicinity.  In  connection  with  the  saw  mill  they 
ran  one  set  of  burrs  for  grinding  corn.  On  the 
5th  of  February  1856  a  post  office  was  estab- 
lished at  South  Bend,  with  Matthew  Thomp- 
son as  postmaster. 

In  the  Judson,  or  "Eureka"  settlement  as  it 
was  then  called,  Eev.  Jenkins  while  on  a  visit 
on  October  14th,  1855  organized  a  Congrega- 
tional church  with  thirteen  members  at  the  log 
cabin  of  John  Watkins.    Their  names  were  John 

E.  Davis  and  wife,  David  T.  Davis  and  wife, 
William  Jones  and  wife,  David  J.  Williams  and 
wife  and  daughter,  Hannah,  John  Watkins  and 
wife,  Owen  Eoberts  and  William  C.  Williams. 
On  February  21st,  1856,  Eev.  E.  Steele  Peake, 
missionary  for  the  Minnesota  Valley  of  the 
Episcopal  church,  conducted  the  first  service 
for  that  denomination  in  the  county,  at  the 
Mankato  log  school  house. 

The  assessors  returned  the  total  personal  pro- 
perty of  the  county  for  1855  at  $40,000.00. 
The  weather  was  very  fine  in  1855  until  about 
the  18th  of  December  when  there  was  a  sud- 
den change  to  snow  and  cold  and  the  year  closed 
wHh  a  big  blizzard.  The  balance  of  the  winter 
was  quite  severe  with  much  snow. 


CHAPTER  IX. 


THE  JVIAPLETON  AND  WELSH  COLONIES 
AND  OTHER  SETTLEMENTS  OF  1856. 


Claim  jumping  was  one  of  the  great  evils  of 
pioneer  life.  No  neighborhood  was  free  from  it 
and  nothing  seemed  so  effective  to  stir  up  the 
baser  passions  of  men.  Friends  were  made  bit- 
ter enemies.  Communities,  churches,  societies 
of  every  nature,  and  even  families  were  disrupted 
by  the  bitter  dissensions  engendered.  Both  the 
country  and  the  villages  suffered  from  the  rav- 
ages of  this  pernicious  evil.  Mankato  was  par- 
ticularly troubled  by  it  and  titles  there  were 
unsettled  for  years.  We  have  already  seen  how 
the  ownership  of  the  old  Mankato  Claim  Com- 
pany began  to  be  disputed  as  early  as  1853  by 
Warren  and  Van  Brunt.  Later,  rival  townsite 
companies  were  formed,  who  questioned  the  old 
company's  right  to  any  of  the  land.  Various 
private  individuals  took  possession  of  any  un- 
occupied lots  they  could  find.  Years  of  litiga- 
tion followed  in  which  the  old  company ,  for  the 
most  part  were  successful,  but  their  victory 
proved  a  very  barren  one  in  a  financial  way. 
An  important  step  in  the  final  settlement  of 
titles  at  the  county  seat,  occurred  on  January 
25th,  1856,  when  Hon.  A.  G.  Chatfield  as  Judge 
of  the  District  Court  entered  the  townsite  for 
tlie  old  company,  under  the  occupying  Claim- 
ant's Act.  Under  the  entry  a  patent  was  issued 
en  August,  1857,  by  the  government  to  the 
judge  in  trust  for  the  occupants  of  the  several 
lots  in  the  townsite. 

The  fight  against  the  location  of  the  Winne- 
bagoes  in  the  county  was  still  kept  up  during 
the  winter  of  1855-6,  and  numerously  signed 
petitions  were  sent  to  the  State  Legislature  to 
induce  it  to  send  a  memorial  to  Congress  in 
the  matter.  The  settlers  who  had  located  upon 
lands  within  the  reservation  limits,  before  the 
coming  of  the  Indians,  still  clung  to  their 
claims.  All  their  protests  and  memorials  how- 
ever, were  of  no  avail  and  some  abandoned  their 
farms  in  the  fall  of  1855,  while  in  the  spring  of 


1856  all  the  rest  were  obliged  to  vacate  their 
homes  and  move  off  the  reserve,  except  Isaac 
Andrus  and  Truman  Andrus,  who  made  so  vig- 
orous a  fight  that  the  officials  did  not  evict  them 
until  the  spring  of  1857.  Twenty-one  home- 
steaders in  all  were  thus  driven  from  their 
claims.  Nearly  all  had  comfortable  log  dwell- 
ings, outbuildings  and  few  acres  of  land  plowed 
and  fenced  into  fields.  Soon  after  their  vaca- 
tion the  Winnebago  chiefs  went  into  occupation 
of  these  buildings  and  the  squaws  planted  corn 
in  the  fields.  The  government  finally  paid  the 
settlers  for  their  improvements.  The  Van  Brunt 
saw  miU  was  within  the  reservation,  and  was 
appropriated  for  the  use  of  the  agency.  Mr. 
Van  Brunt  had  died  in  January,  1856,  but  his 
heirs  were  paid  for  the  mill  in  December,  1858. 
Basil  Moreland  was  the  only  settler  whom  the 
government  did  not  settle  with.  He  had  located 
in  the  spring  of  1854  on  the  Blue  Earth  rap- 
ids, just  above  the  present  Eapidan  Mill,  which 
was  considered  the  most  valuable  water  power  in 
the  county.  He  had  built  a  good  house,  and  in 
1856  tendered  the  government  pay  for  the  land. 
This  was  refused  because  it  was  part  of  the 
Winnebago  Agency,  and  Mr.  Moreland  evicted 
in  the  fall  of  1856.  The  government  was 
willing  to  pay  him  for  his  improvements,  but 
nothing  for  his  land,  with  its  valuable  water 
power.  Mr.  Moreland  it  is  said  had  been  offered 
$25,000.00  for  his  claim,  and  while  in  posses- 
sion of  the  Indians,  the  government  was  offered 
$1,000.00  a  year  for  a  thirty  year  lease  of  the 
big  water  power.  Hence,  Moreland  thought  it 
very  unjust  to  be  deprived  of  so  valuable  a  pro- 
perty without  any  compensation,  and  hence  re- 
fused any  offer  of  settlement  for  his  mere  im- 
provements. In  the  fall  of  1861  he  managed  to 
legain  possession  of  his  claim  in  spite  of  the 
Indians  Agent.  In  1862  he  came  very  near  getting 
a   patent  for   his   land.     Caleb    Smith,  the   Sec- 


69 


70  HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 

retary  of  the  Interior,  had   ordered  it  granted,  diana.     The  plat  has   one  block  marked   "Rail- 

and    the    patent   had    actually   been    issued    and  way  station  grounds,"  another  block  is  designat- 

sent  to    the  local   land   office   for   delivery,   but  ed  'School  house  square,"  while  a  tract  of  12.57 

J.  P.  Usher,  the  new  Secretary,  who  had  been  acres     is     labeled     "Shelbyville     Park."       Rev. 

1st  assistant  under   Smith,  and  on  the  resigna-  Powell    started    a    small    store    on    his    townsite 

tion  of  his   chief   had   been   appointed  his   sue-  during   the    summer.     Eobert    Shannon   built  a 

cesser  January   8th,   1863,   recalled   it  before   it  log   hotel    and    George    Marsh    opened    the   first 

reached  Moreland.     Moreland,  however,  remained  blacksmith  shop  there  at  the  same  time.     A  post 

on  his  claim  until  a  year  or  two  after  the  de-  office    was    established    later    in    the    year    with 

parture   of   the  Winnebagoes  in   1863.     On  the  Eev.    Powell    as    first    post    master.      The    new 

sale  of  the  Winnebago  lands  in  1864  this  tract  town  prospered  well  for  a  few  years,  and  we  wiU 

was    included,   but   no   one   cared   to    bid   much  have  more  to  say  of  it  later.     A  large  number 

for   it,    as    all   believed    Moreland's    claim   to    it  of   settlers   made    claims   in    Shelby    during  the 

would  be  held  valid.     Willard  &  Barney  bought  year.      Tilton    0.    Allen    and    his    cousin    Zoeth 

it    finally    with    other    land    for    only    $1,212.00  Allen,    made    claims    near    Shelbyville    on    April 

and  got  the  patent  for  it.     Just  fifty  years  after  12th,   and   during  the  same  month   came  Albert 

his    first    entry    upon    the    land,    Moreland    was  M.    Stephens,   William   J.    Chamberlain   and   Ar- 

awarded    $2,213.00    by    the    government    in    set-  del  D.  Pinkerton.     Other  settlers  of  Shelby  this 

tlement  of   his   claim,   which  he   had   prosecuted  year  were  Horace  Kinney,  George  Quiggle,  Lewis 

most    of    his    life.      He    was    then    an    old    man  and   Hosea    S.   True,   Milton   T.   Walbridge,   Or- 

living  in   Southern   California.  lando    and    Eichard    B.    Smith,    Bennoney    Far- 

But  to  return  to  the  events  of  1856.  On  ley,  John  L.  Samson,  William  Gregory,  Henry 
February  23rd  of  this  year  a  meeting  was  held  11.  Case,  Asa  P.  Jacobs,  Milton  Eoss,  Francis 
at  Mankato  to  agitate  the  question  of  a  mail  H.  Seward,  William  and  George  H.  Bobbins, 
route  between  Mankato  and  Winona,  and  re-  Anthony  Eitterbush,  Magnus  Eice,  Noble  G. 
solutions  were  sent  to  Washington  requesting  its  Eoot,  Abbington  Parrett,  John  McCabe,  Edmund 
establishment.  On  February  28th  P.  K.  John-  Kingsland,  Alexander  Kennedy,  Chas.  P.  Hutch- 
son  succeeded  in  having  the  Legislature  pass  an  ins,  Josiah  N.  Cheney,  Eeuben  Barrot,  Levi 
Act  restoring  to  Blue  Earth  county  the  south  Calhoon  and  many  others.  About  the  same  time 
half  of  townships  109  in  ranges  25  and  26,  be-  Eev.  James  Hindman,  Hiram  Biglow,  Chas. 
ing  the  territory  comprised  in  the  present  Wheaton,  John  Kimble,  Thomas  J.  Thorp  and 
Jamestown  and  Lime.  The  act  took  efiect  the  some  others  settled  over  the  line  in  Pleasant 
first  of  the  following  June  and  fixed  perma-  Mound.  The  year  1856  in  fact  saw  all  the  de- 
nently  the  northern  Jboundary  of  the  country.  sirable   claims   along   the    Blue   Earth   river   and 

In    October,    1855,    Eev.    John    W.    Powell,    a  Jackson  lake  in  Shelby  taken. 
Methodist    minister    from    Shelbyville,    Indiana,         In    the    winter    of    1854-5    a    school    teacher, 

located  in  Blue   Earth   County,  being  about  the  by   the   name    of   Murphy,    living   in   New  York 

first  preacher  of  that   denomination   in   the  set-  City  advertised  in  a  paper  a  call  for  a  meeting 

tlement.      He   was   put   in   charge -of   classes    at  to    form    a    colony   to   locate    on    western   farms. 

Mankato    and    South   Bend    and    at   Eureka   and  A  number  of  persons  responded  to  this  call  and 

Dakota    in    Nicollet    County.      Besides    minister-  an  organization   formed   entitled  the  "Minnesota 

ing  to  the   scattered  flocks   of  these   four   com-  Settlement  Association.'*    A.  Murphy  was  elected 

munities,  Eev.  Powell  found  time  for  other  mat-  president,     William    Wilde,,    secretary,    Ezra    L. 

ters.      Soon    after   his   arrival   he   made    a   claim  I'erguson,    Corresponding    secretary    and    A.    A. 

on   the   west   half   of   section    thirty-five,    in   the  Wessels,     Treasurer.       A     fee     oif     $10.00     was 

present    township    of    Shelby.      Early    in    April,  charged  each  member  when  Joining.     The  bene- 

1856,  he  had-  this  surveyed   and  platted  by  A.  fits  assured  him  in  return  consisted   of:    cheap 

D.    Seward    into    a    Townsite,    which    he    called  transportation  west;  an  opportunity  to  pre-empt 

"Shelbyville,"   after   his   old  home  town   in   In-  160  acres  of  the  best  farm  land;  one  lot  in  the 


b^^gii^  ;5a«MH'^i?i^  ^^"g°i:.?«"vj_'-.'-?^ 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUIv^TY. 


71 


townsite,  which  was  to  be  platted  in  the  midst 
ol  the  new  settlement^  which  was  certain  of 
being  a  big  town;  and  having  a  well  settled  com- 
munit}'  at  once,  instead  of  the  isolation  inci- 
dent to  the  ordinary  pioneer  life. 

Mr.  Murphy  had  organized  a  similar  colony 
before,  and  therefore  had  experience,  besides 
a  natural  gift  in  that  direction.  During  his 
summer  vacation  he  made  a  trip  through  the 
west  in  quest  of  a  suitable  location.  He 
reported  in  favor  of  Southern  Minnesota,  but 
did  not  determine  upon  the  particular  locality. 
During  the  winter  of  1855-6,  it  was  found  that 
Robert  Taylor,  who  had  become  a  member  of 
the  Association,  was  but  recently  returned  from 
Southern  Minnesota,  where  he  had  in  1852 
planted  the  "Rolling  Stone  Colony"  above  Wi- 
nona. He  was  at  once  delegated  to  proceed  to 
Southern  Minnesota,  and  spy  out  the  best  loca- 
tion for  this  new  colony.  He  went  to  the  Crow 
iiiver  country  first  and  was  inclined  to  take 
the  colony  there  for  a  time.  Then  he  came  to 
Blue  Earth  County  and  with  the  aid  of  L.  G.  M. 
Fletcher,  who  had  helped  make  the  survey, 
stlected    the    lands    along    the    ilaple    river    and 


around  Lura  Lake,  in  Sterling  and  Mapleton 
Townships,  where  as  yet  there  were  only  two  or 
t]iree  settlers.  These  were  all  in  Sterling,  and 
comprised,  besides  V.  A.  Highland,  his  two 
brothers-in-law,  Barnabas  W.  Simmons  and  Hor- 
ace M.  De  Wolf,  who  were  located  just  north 
of  Sterling  Center.  They  were  all  originally  of 
New  England  stock,  and  Simmons  had  located 
first  on  October  11th,  1851,  just  across  the  line 
in  Section  33  of  Lyra.  Mr.  De  Wolf  came  to 
Sterling  in  1855  and  claimed  in  sections  9  and 
10.  In  the  fall  of  1855  a  Dr.  Hiram  Harrington 
had  made  a  claim  in  section  22  of  Sterling  and 
put  up  the  logs  for  his  shanty  and  gone  back 
to  his  old  home  in  Iowa  for  the  winter.  He  re- 
turned to  his  claim  in  the  spring  and  lived  there 
for   a  time. 

Through  its  advertising  the  colony  had  at- 
tracted much  attention  and  its  membership  was 
drawn  from  nearly  all  the  northern  states  though 
the  majority  were  from  New  York.  From  a 
list  preserved  by  Gilbert  Webster,  the  last  sec- 
retary of  the  Association,  it  seems  there  were 
239  persons  entitled  to  the  benefits  of  the  so- 
ciety   (see    foot    note    for    names).      The    main 


Minnesota  Settlement  Association  known  as  the 
Mapleton  Colony,  which  came  to  Mapleton,  Blue 
Earth    County,   Jlinn.,   May,   1856. 

The  officers  were:  Robert  Taylor,  President  and 
Pioneer;    Wm.    Wilde,   Secretary. 

MEMBERS. 


C.  H.  Andrus. 
E.  C.  Andrus. 
J.  D.  AUwood. 
A.  B.  Bunn. 
R.  E.  Bannon. 
James  Barker. 
Thos.   Blair. 

J.  Bodwell. 
S.  Y.  Bogart. 
J.   S.   Bard. 
P.  Bodine. 

E.  Brown. 

P.  H.  Behring. 
Thos.  Brown. 

F.  W.  Buckingham. 

D.  H.  Burleigh. 
J.   Belden. 
Geo.   Baldwin. 
C.   Benny. 

A.   W.   Birge. 
T.   Brown  Jr. 
J.  Bogga. 
A.   Bain. 
John  Blair. 

G.  W.   Colon. 
Ammi.  Coy. 
W.  Curtis. 

H.  L.  Conklin. 


W.   M.    Clinton. 
J.   Camack. 
D.  H.   Carpenter. 
P.  M.  Curtis. 
H.  D.   Copley. 
J.  B.  Crosby. 
J.   Cook. 
J.  Culver. 
0.  Case. 

R.   A.   Carpenter. 
S.  G.  Campey. 
H.  F.  Cook. 
S.   J.   Camps. 
G.  W.  Colon. 
J.  Canlon. 
J.  Corbit. 
A.  L.  Clough. 
C.   H.   Gushing. 
G.   Conger. 
James  Cornell. 
C.   Conley. 
J.  W.  Cracken. 
J.  G.  Christie. 
R.   Canfield. 
R.  V.  Coy. 
Joseph  Dobie. 
John  Dawson. 
L.  Deming. 


L.   Dudley. 

J.    H.   Dickerman. 

J.   Dixon. 

E.  Dixon. 

A.  C.  Doolittle. 

B.  Durkee. 

J.  H.   Dunnell. 
R.   Dooley. 
G.  W.  Ewing. 
J.   M.   Eibert. 
T.  Elliott. 
G.  Eagen  Jr. 
J.  H.  Evans. 
E.  P.  C.   Fowler. 
Dan.    Foley. 
E.   L.  Furgeson. 
J.   B.    Fitzgerald. 
T.   W.   Planner. 
D.  Frisbie. 
D.  W.  Fox. 
G.   P.  Fox. 
W.  Faber. 
R.   Fowles. 
Carlos  Fogg. 

C.  L.   Francis. 
A.   D.  Foy. 

L.  A.  Fleming. 
A.   T.   Fowler. 
Alex.  Gregg. 
W.   George. 
H.  J.  Goode. 
J.   A.    Gibbon. 
A.  Galloway. 
Robt.   Goodyear. 
Allen  Gibson. 


C.   W.   Goodrich. 

H.   P.   Gardiner. 

L.   G.   Hoyt. 

Thos.   Hill. 

J.    D.    Hamm. 

Wm.   Howe. 

R.  0.  Humphrey. 

R.  Hutell. 

J.  P.  Harrington. 

A.  Hollyer. 
V.  Hoffman. 
J.   E.   Harboe. 
J.^.  Hamilton. 
Wesley   Hindman. 
J.  Heald. 

M.   B.  Haynes. 
Geo.   Hart. 
J.   Hemperly. 
J.  M.   Hitchcock. 

B.  H.   Hunt. 
E.  Horton. 
V.  Hoffman. 
J.  L.   Hart. 
S.  E.  Hicks. 
O.   C.   Healey. 
R.  S.  Jones. 
E.  Jennings. 
J.  Jordan. 

A.  P.  Jacobs. 
N.  Jackman. 
John   Johnson. 
E.   E.  Johnson. 
S.  J.  Jones. 
W.  Jennings. 
R.  A.  Judd. 


HISTORY  0'^  BLUE  EAETH  COtTNTY. 


body  of  the  colony  left  New  York  about  the 
middle  of  April,  1856.  They  contracted  with 
the  railroad  to  carry  them  to  Dunleith,  op- 
posite Dubuque,  Iowa,  for  $11.75  apiece  for 
adults  and  half  that  price  for  children.  There 
were  six  carloads  of  people,  and  their  baggage 
filled  six  other  cars.  Dunlieth  was  then  the 
nearest  point  to  Minnesota  reached  by  the  rail- 
road. Our  colonists  crossed  the  river  to  Du- 
buque, where  a  meeting  was  held  to  explain 
away  some  misunderstanding-s,  which  had  risen 
between  some  of  the  members  and  the  ofEicers. 
A  grocery  association  was  also  formed  here, 
which  purchased  $2,000.00  worth  of  provisions. 
Committees  were  appointed  to  secure  wagons 
and  other  farm  implements  for  such  of  the 
colony  as  wanted  them.  Many  of  the  colonists 
especially  from  Illinois,  Indiana  and  Iowa  made 
the  trip  overland  with  wagons  and  stock.  The 
main  body  of  the  colony,  after  completing  all 
necessary  arrangements  at  Dubuque,  embarked 
on  the  City  Belle  for  St.  Paul,  and  thence  to 
Mankato  on  the  Eeveille.  The  latter  was  a 
good  sized  boat  for  the  Minnesota,  still  it  was 
well  crowded,  since  the  party  numbered  over 
300  persons,  men,  women  and  children.  A  St. 
Paul  paper  of  that  date  states  that  there 
were  350  adults  and  90  children  in  the  party. 
Early  on  the  morning  of  Monday,  the  5th  day  of 
May   1856,  they  landed  in  Mankato,  the  largest 


company  of  immigrants,  which  had  arrived  at 
one  time  in  the  state.  Luckily  they  were  not  de- 
pendent on  the  accommodations  of  the  village, 
which  were  far  too  limited  for  such  overwhelm- 
ing numbers.  They  had  brought  with  them  sev- 
eral tents,  which  they  pitched  along  the  levee. 
Soon  after  their  arrival  one  of  their  number 
named  Wall,  died,  and  was  buried  near  the 
river  bank  below  Main  street.  Like  most  all  the 
rest  of  the  company  he  was  a  young  man,  who 
had  come  west  to  seek  his  fortune.  Years  later 
the  river  cut  into  the  bank,  exposing  his  coffin, 
and  the  remains  were  removed  to  the  old  ceme- 
tery below  town.  After  spending  a  few  days 
awaiting  their  conveyances  our  colonists  started 
for  the  promised  land,  which  Mr.  Taylor  had  se- 
lected. They  followed  the  old  trail  by  the  site  of 
Ft.  Le  Huillier,  but  there  was  a  freshet  tu  the  Le 
Sueur  river  so  the  teams  could  not  ford  it.  A 
number  of  the  men  crossed  in  canoes  and  con- 
tinued their  journey  on  foot  carrying  their 
bedding  and  provisions  on  their  backs.  Pass- 
ing through  Eapidan  and  Lyra  and  using  the 
cabins  of  the  evicted  settlers  for  stopping  places, 
they  reached  Mr.  Highland's  home,  on  the 
south  boundary  of  the  reservation,  on  the  sec- 
ond day.  They  gazed  with  longing  eyes  upon 
the  beautiful  country  they  passed  through,  but 
it  all  belonged  to  the  wards  of  Uncle  Sam.  At 
last,    however,    they    had    reached    their    land    of 


T.  Kragin. 

A.  D.  H.  Kemper. 

Silas   Keenan. 

D.  B.  Kent. 

J.   E.  Le   Cavellier. 

W.   H.   Leonard. 

T.  B.  Louder. 

S.  Loomis. 

D.  Loekwood. 

G.   H.   Lawrence. 
M.   Leonard. 
H.   Lee. 
J.  W.  Lane. 

E.  X).  Loveland. 

C.  A.  Lane. 
J.  W.  Mead. 
A.  Murphy. 

D.  Meredith. 
James   Morris. 
John   Morris. 
J.   Mitchell. 

J.  Mounds. 
J.  Malett. 
L.  Mathrop. 

F.  Y.  McNamee. 
Ira   Merrill. 
James  Monroe. 
A.   W.   Miner. 


G.  H.  Moore. 

A.  Menzias. 
G.   Miller. 
John   W.   ileek. 
John  McCormack. 
H.  V.  McNeal. 
Wm.   Norton. 

B.  G.   ISfevill. 
J.  Odell. 

H.   Parker. 
J.   Phillips. 
Gilbert   D.   Pitts. 
W.   G.   Pike. 
J.   Pope. 
John  Price. 
L.  E.   Pinney. 
J.   G.   Parker. 
G.  B.  Quigley. 
J.  S.  Robertson. 
J.   Robertson  Jr. 

B.  F.  Read. 

C.  Ronald. 

J.  M.  Rockefeller. 
S.   Mc.  Reynolds. 
H.  N.  Rust. 
B.    S.   Read. 
0.  B.  Marsh. 
A.  Mead. 


C.  N.  Rockwell. 
J.   L.   Sanborn. 

A.  S.   Smith. 
E.   Smith. 

J.  Sherman. 

D.  Stell  Jr. 
J.  Southwick. 
Fred.  Strong. 
H.  Stangnett. 
S.  S.  Saxton. 
J.  H.  Smith. 
H.  G.  Smith. 
C.  Selden. 

B.  H.   Seabering. 
J.   L.    Samson. 
G.   0.   Saxton. 

L.    Sutherland. 

A.  Stevens. 

S.    E.    Standish. 
J.   E.  Smith. 
W.   D.    Stewart. 
W.  H.  Shelby. 

B.  W.  Todd. 
Robert   Taylor. 
B.  Tuesdale. 
Isaac   Tabor. 
M.  Thompson. 
S.   H.   Thomas. 


C.   E.   Tuttle. 
W.  H.  Tate. 
C.  H.  Thayer. 
W.  R.  Targee. 
L.  H.  Tyler. 
Wm.  Twaits. 
Z.   C.  Tabor. 
J.    Tillinghast. 

F.  R.  Tenny. 
L.  Willard. 
J.  L.  Wilde. 
Wm.   Wilde. 
C,   C.   Watts. 
W.  Whitmore. 
H.   C.  Welsh. 
Gilbert   Webster. 
T.  H.  Whitiker. 
C.  A.  Williams. 
W.   A.   Ward. 

G.  L.  Wentz. 
W.  C.  Whipple. 
John  F.  Williams. 
E.  L.  Wilde. 

H.   J.  Wakefield. 
J.  Wilson. 
B.  Wilcox. 
M.   Witmer. 
A.  A.  Weasels. 


EISTOEY  O'E'  BLUE  EARTH  COUlsrTY. 


Promise.  All  that  fair  and  fertile  region  along 
the  Maple  and  about  Lake  Lura,  South  of  the 
Agency  line^  was  the  rich  inheritance  they  had 
been  seeking.  Through  the  aid  of  L.  G.  M.  Flet- 
cher, who  had  accompanied  them  for  the  pur- 
pose (as  he  had  been  on  the  government  sur- 
vey), they  blocked  out  the  land  into  claims  of 
160  acres  each.  Only  65  claims  could  be  found 
having  the  required  amount  of  timber.  Three 
of  the  head  ofEicers  were  allowed  the  first  pick. 
The  rest  of  the  claims  were  numbered  and  di- 
vided by  lot,  but  as  there  were  139  persons  pres- 
ent entitled  to  claims,  more  than  half  the  tickets 
were  blanks.  The  result  was  great  dissatisfac- 
tion. Many  who  drew  good  claims  were  young 
men  without  families,  whose  only  purpose  was 
speculation,  while  many  heads  of  families  drew 
blanks.  A  general  row  followed  and  much 
claim  jumping.  Most  of  the  disappointed  scat- 
tered, some  went  into  the  timber  country  near 
j\lankato,  others  crossed  the  line  into  Faribault 
County  and  elsewhere,  while  quite  a  number  re- 
turned home  disgusted.  The  northwest  quarter 
of  section  seven  of  Mapleton  and  the  northeast 
quarter  of  section  twelve  of  Sterling  were  chosen 
for  the  townsite,  which  was  surveyed  and  plat- 
ted July,  1856,  by  M.  B.  Haynes,  a  young  civil 
engineer,  who  was  a  member  of  the  colony.  It 
was  named  "Mapleton"  after  the  ilaple  river. 
The  plat  was  signed  by  Eobert  Taylor,  James 
Cornell  and  John  Mund  as  proprietors.  The 
town  lots  were  divided  among  all  the  members 
by  a  drawing.  Nothing  came  of  the  townsite 
project,  and  the  land  was  jumped  in  a  short 
time  by  two  enterprising  claim  hunters. 

In  April,  1856,  Uriah  Payne  had  located  a 
claim  in  Sections  seven  and  eighteen  in  Mapleton 
township,  probably  the  first  claim  taken  in  that 
town.  He  then  returned  to  Wisconsin  to  prepare 
for  moving  to  his  new  home.  There  he  fell  in 
with  a  colony  of  settlers  from  Fond  du  Lac,  who 
were  drifting  westward  in  quest  of  new  homes. 
They  were  Ira  Annis,  wife  and  five  children  and 
]iis  sister  now  (Mrs.  J.  W.  Sprague) ,  Azra  Annis 
and  wife,  Asa  P.  Sherman,  wife  and  two  child- 
ren, E.  B.  Hall,  wife  and  one  child,  Eussell 
Franklin,  wife  and  one  child,  Charles  Durkee 
and  Jonathan  Holbrook.  The  company,  includ- 
ing Mr.   Payne   and  his  three  sons,   comprised 


25  souls,  and  were  conveyed  in  six  or  seven 
covered  wagons,  all  but  one,  drawn  by  oxen.  As 
the  colony  had  no  special  destination,  Mr.  Payne 
piloted  them  towards  his  claim  on  the  Maple.  At 
Owatonna  a  halt  was  made,  while  a  few  of  the 
men  went  forward  with  Mr.  Payne  in  a  light 
wagon,  drawn  by  the  only  span  of  horses  in 
the  company,  owned  by  Ira  Annis.  After  view- 
ing the  country  on  the  Maple  all  were  well 
pleased  with  it  and  returned  after  their  fami- 
lies. The  party  finally  reached  the  Maple  on 
June  20th  and  settled  in  Mapleton  and  Sterling. 
They  were  soon  joined  by  Joel  Holbrook.  This 
company  observed  their  first  Independence  day 
with  a  celebration  at  their  tent.  Guns  were  fired. 
Captain  E.  B.  Hall  delivered  an  oration,  and 
the  best  dinner  possible  was  served.  Emil  Bue- 
card  and  family,  also,  settled  in  the  present 
town  of  Mapleton  the  same  summer. 

In  the  counties  of  Jackson  and  Gallia,  Ohio, 
there  was  a  large  ^^^elsh  settlement,  which  had 
emigrated  mostly  from  Cardiganshire,  Wales. 
They  were  mostly  farmers,  but  their  Ohio  loca- 
tion was  ill  adapted  for  that  calling,  as  it  was 
a  very  rugged  and  sterile  country. 

Iron  ore  was  discovered  in.  the  hills  and  a 
number  of  the  farmers  united  into  a  company 
under  the  name  of  "Jefferson  Furnace"  to 
manufacture  iron.  In  those  anti-bellum  days 
ihere  was  little  demand  for  iron,  and  our  farmer 
stock  holders  saw  no  dividends,  and  were  becom- 
ing doubtful  if  they  ever  should  see  any  of  the 
capital  they  had  invested,  as  the  company's  in- 
debtedness amounted  to  $75,000.00.  They  had 
read  Eev.  Eichard  Davis  communications  in  the 
Welsh  ■  periodicals  regarding  the  fertile  farm 
lands  of  Minnesota.  Edward  Thomas  of  South 
Bend  had  lived  among  them  for  a  time,  and  his 
personal  letters  increased  their  interest  in  the 
new    Welsh    settlement    in    Blue    Earth    County. 

On  October  8th,  1855,  a  delegation  of  six  per- 
sons arrived  at  South  Bend  from  Jackson,  Ohio, 
to  inspect  the  country.  Their  names  were  David 
P.  Davis,  Sr.,  John  I.  Jones,  Thomas  Jones 
(Cooper),  Eichard  Morgan,  Evan  Williams  and 
James  Morgan.  They  were  greatly  pleased  with 
the  beauty  of  the  land  and  the  fertility  of  its 
soil.  After  investing  in  some  lots  in  South 
"f^?nd  for  fear  they  would  be  aU  gone  by  spring, 


74 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


they  returned  after  their  families,  and  to  bring 
a  favorable  report  to  their  neighbors.  The  re- 
sult was  that  by  the  spring  of  1856  a  large 
number  of  Welsh  people  from  Jackson  and  Gal- 
lia Counties  were  ready  to  emigrate.  They 
started  in  April,  from  Portsmouth,  Ohio,  down 
the  Ohio  river  and  thence  up  the  Mississippi  to 
St.  Paul  on  the  steamer  "Granite  State."'  They 
reached  the  latter  place  only  a  few  hours  later 
than  the  Mapleton  colony,  but  were  obliged  to 
tarry  there  three  or  four  days  before  they  could 
get  a  boat  up  the  Minnesota.  They  finally  bar- 
gained with  Captain  Samuel  G.  Cabbell  to  take 
them  in  his  boat,  "H.  T.  Yeatman."  The  colony 
numbered  121  souls  and  with  their  baggage 
made  a  fair  sized  load. 

The  Yeatman  was  a  stern  wheeler,  rather 
large  for  the  Minnesota  river,  and  this  was  her 
first  trip  on  this  stream.  Though  the  water  was 
high  the  boat  had  much  difficulty  in  making 
ihe  many  sharp  curves.  Her  smoke  stacks  were 
knocked  down  by  overhanging  trees,  and  her  sides 
scratched,  so  her  progress  was  necessarily  slow. 
At  last  the  tired  passengers  were  all  landed 
safely  at  the  South  Bend  levee  on  Saturday  the 
10th  of  May,  1856,  almost  one  month  after 
leaving  their  Ohio  liomes. 

The  hospitality  of  the  village  in  spite  of  all 
prior  preparations  was  taxed  to  the  limit,  to 
accommodate  such  a  crowd.  Three  or  four  fam- 
ilies occupied  the  log  school  building,  and  every 
house  and  shanty  was  packed  to  the  attic. 
They  were  a  religious  people  who  had  not  failed 
to  observe  a  single  Sabbath  on  their  long  and 
weary  journey.  The  first  Sunday  after  their  ar- 
rival, an  open  air  meeting  was  held  in  a  grove 
beside  a  small  pond  called  "Llyn  Tegid."  Kev. 
Eichard  Davis  preached,  and  the  hymns  of  old 
AVales  were  sung  with  much  zest  and  gladness 
in  this  God's  first  temple. 

Most  of  the  workmen  employed  on  the  govern- 
ment bridge,  just  completed  over  the  Blue  Earth, 
were  young  fellows  from  St.  Paul  and  else- 
v/here,  who  had  no  intention  of  taking  claims 
in  Blue  Earth  County.  Hearing  that  a  b^'g  Welsh 
colony  was  due  in  South  Bend  in  a  few  days, 
they  concluded  that  here  was  a  fine  opportunity 
for  speculation  in  land.  They  accordingly  scat- 
tered through  the  country  and  took  possession  of 


every  desirable  tract  of  land  they  could  find  and, 
when  the  colonists  arrived,  they  asked  them 
$300.00  per  claim  for  their  right.  The  Welsh 
■s\'ere  anxious  to  settle  in  one  neighborhood  so 
as  to  secure  the  religious  and  social  privileges  to 
which  they  had  been  accustomed.  Weeks  were 
spent  by  them  tramping  over  the  country  look- 
ing for  suitable  claims,  but  between  the  squat- 
ters and  the  Indians  the  desirable  land  had  all 
been  appropriated.  About  one  fourth  of  the 
colony  at  last  went  to  Le  Sueur  County  and 
took  claims  there  in  Sharon  and  Cleveland 
Townships.  The  squatters  at  last  began  to  get 
impatient,  as  they  had  no  thought  of  even  filing 
on  their  claims,  and  they  sold  for  whatever 
they  could  get.  Our  colonists  now  settled  mostly 
in  the  vicinity  of  South  Bend  and  Minneopa 
Creek,  and  in  Cambria  Township.  Among  the 
latter  were  Dr.  David  Davis,  and  his  sons  Da- 
vid, John  and  Peter  S.  Davis,  Darid  P.  Davis, 
Sr.,  and  his  sons  Daniel,  John,  David  and  Eben  P. 
Davis,  David  Price  and  family,  John  Walters 
and  his  sons,  John,  Stephen,  and  David  Wal- 
ters, and  his  sons-in-law,  William  P.  Jones  and 
Thos.  D.  Lloyd,  and  Eichard  Morgans  and  his 
sons,  James,  Isaac  and  William  Morgans.  Among 
those  who  located  in  the  vicinity  of  Minneopa 
Creek  were :  Isaac  Woods,  and  his  son  Walter  A. 
Woods,  Evan  Williams  and  his  son,  William  B. 
Williams,  Thomas  J.  Jones,  (Cooper)  and  his 
son  David  J.  Jones,  and  John  I.  Jones,  and 
his  family. 

About  July  1st,  1856,  Eev.  Jenkin  Jenkins  ar- 
rived and  located  in  Cambria  Township,  then  call- 
ed the  Cottonwood  Settlement,  and  took  charge 
of  the  Congregational  church.  Practically  all  the 
colonists  from  Jackson  and  Gallia  Counties, 
Ohio,  were  Calvinistic  Methodists,  and  on 
July  3rd,  a  church  of  that  denomination  was 
organized  in  Cambria,  at  the  log  cabin  of  David 
P.  Davis,  by  Eev.  Eichard  Davis,  with  about 
22  members.  It  was  called  "Horeb"  after  a 
church  to  which  most  of  the  membership  had 
belonged  in  Jackson. 

On  July  7th,  1856  a  new  election  precinct  was 
organized  comprising  the  territory  now  embraced 
in  the  Townships  of  Shelby  and  Pleasant  Mound 
and  Koble,  G.  Eoot,  James  McCannahan  and  A. 
B.   Parrot  appointed  Judges  of  Election;  A.  B. 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


75 


Parrot,  Justice  of  the  Peace,  Wm.  A.  Clark, 
Constable,  and  Horton  Nelson,  Eoad  Surpervisor. 
It  was  named  "Shelby"  at  the  suggestion  of 
Eev.  J.  W.  Powell  after  "Shelby,  Indiana." 
On  July  9th,  1856  the  seventh  election  precinct 
in  the  county  was  created,  called  "Mapleton," 
after  the  Maple  Eiver.  It  embraced  the  present 
Townships  of  Sterling,  Mapleton  and  Danville 
and  its  first  ofEicers  were:  Judges  of  Election: 
Vespucius  A.  Highland,  James  Cornell  and  0. 
E.  Marsh,  Justices  of  the  Peace,  Robert  Tay- 
lor and  Albert  A.  We>isells,  Constables,  John 
Dixon  and  James  Dobin,  Road  Supervisor,  Wm. 
Wildes.  The  same  territory  was  on  the  same  date 
made  into  a  school  district  and  numbered  5. 

The  year  1856  saw  the  coming  of  the  first  set- 
tlers into  the  present  town  of  Danville.  Hector 
Sharp  is  generally  accredited  to  have  been  the 
first  settler.  He  located  in  section  27  in  Jlay, 
1856  and  a  month  later  came  Nicholas  J. 
Kremer,  who  had  been  living  at  Wabasha, 
Minn.,  about  a  year,  and  with  him  came  Francis 
and  Bernhard  Phillips,  George  Mosser  and  Mi- 
cheal  Schaller.  The  Phillipses  and  Mosser  were 
from  Erie  County  N.  Y.,  while  the  Kremers 
were  from  Fon  Du  Lac,  Wis.  They  built  their 
first  cabin  in  Danville  together  in  June  1856, 
on  the  Phillips  claim  in  section  thirty-four. 
Francis  Phillips,  Sr.,  Joined  them  about  the  first 
of  September,  and  John  Kramer,  Sr.,  and  his 
wife  and  their  three  sons,  Peter,  J.  P.  and  John 
arrived  in  October.  All  lived  in  the  same  cabin 
for  a  short  time.  In  October  came  also  William 
Larabee  and  his  son,  Samuel  Larabee  and  wife 
and  four  children.  During  the  same  summer 
and  fall  came  Isaac  Sherman,  Nelson  Gray, 
Stephen.  Kelly,  Noadiah  W.  Towne,  Ahijah  H. 
and  Amos  Chambers,  John  and  Josiah  Rogers. 
All  these  located  along  the  Big  Cobb  river,  which 
passed  diagonally  through  the  town  of  Danville, 
and  is  fringed  with  a  narrow  belt  of  timber. 

On  a  former  page  we  spoke  of  Edson  Gerry 
m.aking  a  claim  on  the  Watonwan  in  the  fall  of 
1854  in  company  with  George  Lamberton,  Ed- 
ward Thomson  and  others.  This  claim  has  quite 
a  history,  a  brief  outline  of  which  we  shall  now 
give. 

Mr.  Gerry  was  a  native  of  the  old  Bay  state, 
but  in  1854  resided  at  Berlin,  Wis.     He  was  a 


music  teacher  by  profession.     The  claim  he  took 
in  Blue  Earth  county  was  the  Northwest  quar- 
ter of  section  twenty-six  of  Garden   City,  town- 
ship,   the    site    of    the    present    village    of    that 
name.    He  put  up  a  log  claim  shanty  near  where 
the  Baptist  Church    now    stands.      Finding  there 
were  a  number  of  excellent  water    powers  on   his 
claim  he    conceived  the  idea  of   founding   a   city 
thereon  and  utilizing  the  water  power  for  mills  and 
factories.    He  also  procured  to  be  entered  by  third 
parties  two  other  quarter  sections  adjoining  on  the 
east  and  south,  which  he  paid  for  and  had  con- 
veyed to  him  later.     In  the  spring  of  1855,  he 
built  a  log  house  on  the  claim  in  the  Northeast 
quarter    of    section    twenty-six,    which    had    been 
preempted    by    him    in    the    name    of    Elizabeth 
Olds,    and    broke    quite    a    tract    of    land.      This 
sujnmer  occurred  the  first  known  cyclone  in  this 
locality.   It   unroofed  his   house   and  uprooted   a 
strip   of   large   oak  timber   across  his   claim   and 
along  the  Watonwan.     As  he  had  used  his  pre- 
emption   right    in    Wisconsin,    Mr.    Gerry    knew 
he  could  not  hold,  or  prove  up  on  his  original 
claim   himself.     So   in  the   fall   of   1855   he   re- 
turned to  his  Berlin  house  and  procured  a  mul- 
atto  named,    Nelson   W.    Askins,    a   musical    ac- 
quaintance of  his  at  Berlin,  to  go  with  him  to 
Garden  City  and  make  the  necessary  filing  and 
payment   to   secure   a  patent   for   the   land,   and 
then  on  January  23,  1856  had  Askins  convey  the 
title    to    Gerry's    brother-in-law.    Rev.    Anthony 
Case,    a    Baptist    minister,    then    of    Fox    Lake, 
Wis. 

At  this  time  there  resided  at  Boston,  Mass., 
one  Samuel  M.  Folsom,  who  had  been  engaged 
in  a  large  mercantile  business,  but  had  re- 
cently failed.  His  stock  was  sold  by  the  trus- 
tee to  one  Farnsworth,  who  was  friendly  to 
Folsom,  and  the  latter  managed  thus  to  save 
a  few  thousand  dollars  from  the  wreck  of  his 
fortune.  Early  in  1856  Mr.  Gerry  happened 
on  one  of  his  trips  to  meet  Folsom,  who  pre- 
tended to  be  quite  a  capitalist  and  manufac- 
turer. The  two  men  soon  entered  into  a  ver- 
bal agreement,  whereby  Gerry  was  to  cause  to 
be  deeded  to  Folsom  a  three  fifth  interest  in  his 
townsite  on  the  AVatonwan  in  consideration  of  the 
latter  putting  in  several  thousand  dollars  capital 
for    its    development.      Accordingly    Mr.    Folson 


76 


HISTOEY  OF  BLtJE  EAETfl  COUNTY. 


took  possession  of  the  claim  early  in  June  1856, 
and  on  the  15th  of  that  month  had  Mr.  A.  D. 
Seward  survey  and  plat  the  land  into  a  townsite, 
under  the  name  "Fremont."  This  plat  was 
signed  by  Anthony  Case  as  nominally  the  sole 
owner. 

Hardly  had  the  town  been  platted  when 
Benjamin  H.  Seabujy  brought  a  few  groceries 
in  a  covered  wagon  and  opened  the  first  store 
there  in  a  tent.  In  a  few  days  he  sold  out  to 
Josiah  N.  Cheney,  Lyman  C.  Harrington  and 
Emery  Z.  Harrington,  who  were  originally  from 
the  same  place  in  Vermont,  and  had  been  in  the 
mercantile  business  together  at  Manitowac,  Wis. 
This  business  they  had  just  disposed  of  be- 
fore coming  to  Fremont  in  June  1856.  Cheney 
stayed  in  charge  of  the  new  store,  while  the 
Plarringtons  returned  to  Manitowac  to  bring 
the  families  and  goods  to  their  new  home  on 
the  Watonwan.  Lyman  C.  Harrington  and  his 
wife's  brother,  William  H.  Watts,  drove  across 
the  country  in  a  wagon  from  Manitowac  to 
Fiemont,  where  Harrington  and  Cheney  en- 
gaged in  business  for  a  number  of  years.  The 
Harringtons  were  brothers  of  Dr.  Harrington  of 
Mankato,  and  L.  C.  Harrington  and  Cheney 
ivere  brothers-in-law. 

About  the  middle  of  September  Mr.  Folsom 
began  the  construction  of  a  mill  dam  across 
the  Watonwan,  but  did  not  put  up  the  mill 
until  the  next  year.  In  the  fall  of  1856  Eri  P. 
Evans,  a  Boston  acquaintanije  of  Folsom,  whom 
the  latter  induced  to  join  him  in  this  Western 
enterprise,  removed  to  the  new  town  and  at  once 
began  to  take  active  part  in  its  development.  He 
started  a  small  store,  had  a  postofEice  created 
at  Fremont,  and  himself  appointed  as  its  first 
postmaster.  The  same  fall  witnessed  the  build- 
ing of  another  mill  dam  on  land  adjoining  the 
Townsite  on  the  west.  John  Dilley,  George  W. 
Atwell  and  Jehiel  Aber  were  the  parties  inter- 
ested in  this  enterprise.  Others  who  located  in 
Fremont  in  1856  were  Amos  Warner,  J.  H. 
Preston,  John  B.  Skinner,  Jeduthan  P.  and  Al- 
bert M.  Kendall,  James  G.  Thompson  and  others 
whose  names  we  did  not  learn. 

The  first  religious  service  in  the  present  town 
of  Garden  City  was  conducted  in  the  log  cabin 
of    Edward    Thompson,    early    in    the    spring,  of 


1856,  by  a  Methodist  preacher  from  Kasota, 
named  Eev.  Theophilus  Drew.  This  cabin  of 
Mr.  Thompson  was  built  by  him  on  his  claim  in 
1854  and  was  close  by  the  village  of  Fremont.  It 
was  known  in  the  early  day  as  the  "Boarding 
House"  where  many  young  unmarried  men  made 
their  home.  It  was  prominent  in  all  the  early 
history  of  the  village  and  community.  A  Sabbath 
school  was  organized  at  this  house  early  ia  the 
fall  of  this  year  with  fifteen  scholars.  E.  P. 
Evans  was  its  energetic  superintendent.  In  Oc- 
tober Eev.  Case  paid  the  townsite  a  visit,  and 
during  his  stay  of  three  or  four  weeks  held  regu- 
lar preaching  services.  The  same  fall  Eev.  B. 
Y.  Coffin  preached  to  a  few  settlers  at  the  cabin 
of  S.  T.  Mills.  The  first  move  in  an  educational 
way  was  a  petition  to  the  County  Commissioners 
for  a  school  district,  which  was  granted  on  Oc- 
tober 20,  1856,  to  embrace  the  following  terri- 
tory: Commencing  at  the  northwest  corner  of 
section  18,  107,  28,  thence  east  six  miles,  thence 
south  four  miles,  thence  west  six  miles,  thence 
north  four  miles.  It  was  designated  No.  10. 
In  the  fall  of  1856  the  first  school  was  taught 
by  Thaddeus  Wright  in  the  cabin  of  Edson 
Gerry.  About  this  time  a  school  meeting  was 
held  at  the  house  of  J.  C.  Thompson,  when  it  was 
determined  to  erect  a  log  school  house  in  the  vil- 
lage. This  was  finished  during  the  winter, 
and  the  first  school  taught  in  it  by  John  S. 
•Daggett. 

The  first  saw  mill  on  the  Watonwan  was 
built  in  the  fall  of  1856  by  Neri  P.  Hoxie  and 
Erastus  Conklin,  on  the  site  afterwards  occupied 
by  the  Butterfield  Mill.  James  H.  Greenwood 
and  J.  Williston  Greenwood  helped  to  construct 
and  operate  this  mill.  Beside  it  the  following 
summer  was  built  the  first  bridge  over  the  Wa- 
tonwan. Other  settlers  of  Watonwan  Township 
(now  Garden  City)  in  1856  were  Frank  and 
Eeuben  H.  Thurston,  Patrick  Eooney,  James 
Glynn,  and  many  others. 

At  the  general  election,  held  on  October  14, 
1856,  Blue  Earth  County  cast  227  votes,  divid- 
ed among  the  seven  precincts  as  follows:  Man- 
kato 113,  South  Bend  41,  Watonwan  13,  Ma- 
pleton  6,  Eice  Lake  19,  Shelby  13,  Judson  22. 
Politically  the  county  went  Eepublican  for  the 
first    time    in    its    history   by    a   small    majority. 


HISTOKY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUXTY. 


Mankato  and  Eice  Lake  remained  strongly 
Democratic,  but  all  the  other  precincts  cast  al- 
most an  unanimous  Free  Soil  vote.  Dr.  P.  P. 
Humphrey,  (Republican)  of  Kasota  received  37 
majority  for  Senator,  and  S.  Kenworthy,  of 
Le  Sueur,  and  E.  Iv.  Bangs,  of  South  Bend, 
(both  Eepublicans)  received  fair  majorities  for 
the  Legislature,  but  as  the  district  included  a 
number  of  other  counties  they  failed  of  elec- 
tion. A.  D.  Seward,  (Eep)  won  as  County  Trea- 
surer over  J.  Q.  A.  Marsh  (Dem)  by  only  six 
votes,  while  E.  Howe  (Eep)  beat  L.  Branson 
(Dem)  for  District  Attorney  by  only  two  votes. 
William  Sargent  (Dem)  for  Eegister  of  Deeds, 
E.  D.  Bruner  (Dem)  Probate  Judge,  Francis 
Bunker  (Dem)  Sheriff,  George  W.  Cum- 
mings  (Dem)  Clerk  of  Court,  were  appar- 
ently elected  without  opposition.  Mathew  Thomp- 
son (Dem)  of  South  Bend  and  Eobert  Patter- 
son (Eep)  of  Judson  were  chosen  County  Com- 
missioners. 

Thus  far  the  County  possessed  no  jail  or 
county  building  of  any  sort.  Offices  were  rent- 
ed at  Mankato  in  such  vacant  buildings  as 
could  be  found.  The  townsite  proprietors  had 
donated  on  their  plat  an  entire  block  for  such 
buildings,  but  as  yet  it  Avas  covered  by  its 
original  forest.  We  have  seen  how  the  County 
Commissioners  as  early  as  March  6th,  1854,  had 
designated  this  block  50  of  Mankato  as  the 
location  of  the  future  court  house  by  resolution, 
but  no  move  looking  to  the  actual  use  of  the 
spot  was  made  until  July  10th  1856,  when  a 
resolution  was  passed  by  the  Board  to  erect  a 
court  house  and  jail.  At  their  meeting  of  Oc- 
tober 21st,  1856,  it  was  determined  to  abandon 
the  building  of  the  court  house  '^because  of  the 
lateness  of  the  season,"  but,  because  of  "ur- 
gent necessity,"  it  was  decided  to  proceed  with 
the  building  of  a  jail  at  once  according  to  the 
specifications  given.  The  contract  was,  on  ITo- 
vomber  1st,  1856,  let  to  Francis  Bunker,  the 
Sheriff,  for  $900.00,  and  this  first  county  build- 
ing was  duly  completed  and  accepted  by  the 
board  on  January  7th,  1857.  The  jail  was  12-20 
feet  on  the  inside  and  10  feet  high.  It  was  built 
of  hardwood  timber,  hewed  eight  inches  square, 
mth  floor  and  ceiling  of  three  inch  oak  plank. 
It  was  divided  into  two  cells  by  a  three  inch  oak 


plank  partition.  A  door  of  the  same  material 
opened  into  a  hall  4x6  feet,  and  a  door  from 
this  hall  led  to  each  cell.  At  the  farther  end 
01  each  cell  was  a  small  iron  grated  window  and 
a  grated  window  was  put  into  the  partition.  In 
front  of  the  jail  proper  ^Aas  erected  a  frame 
building  12x14  feet  and  of  same  height  as  jail. 
This  building  was  plastered  and  painted  and  di- 
vided into  three  rooms,  a  bed  room,  pantry 
and  sitting  room  and  kitchen  combined  for  use 
of  the   jailer. 

The  valuation  of  the  personal  property  in 
the  county  as  returned  by  the  assessors  in  June, 
1856,  was  $141,377.50  and  the  tax  rate  was 
fixed  at  214  per  cent. 

We  have  already  noted  how  the  various  com- 
munities were  beginning  to  bestir  themselves 
along  educational  and  religious  lines.  On  April 
8th,  1856  School  District  No.  4  was  created 
embracing  the  present  toM'ns  of  Judson,  Cam- 
bria and  Butternut  Valley.  July  9th  of  the 
same  year  the  territory  covered  by  the  present 
towns  of  Sterling,  Mapleton  and  Danville,  was 
set  apart  as  School  District  No.  5.  On  October 
6  the  present  town  of  Cambria  was  divided 
into  three  School  Districts,  two  of  them  num- 
bered six  and  seven,  and  the  other  left  undesig- 
nated. On  the  same  date  the  west  half  of  Lime 
was  made  into  District  No.  8,  and  the  South 
two  miles  of  Judson  and  the  north  two  miles 
of  Garden  City  into  District  No.  9.  On  October 
20th  v/e  saw  the  organization  of  the  Fremont  or 
Garden  City  District  as  No.  10,  and  on  the 
same  date  School  District  No.  11  (Shelbyville) 
was  created,  with  the  following  boundaries  :- 
commencing  at  the  northeast  corner  of  section 
thirteen  of  Shelby  Township,  thence  west  six 
miles,  thence  south  four  miles,  thence  east  six 
miles,  thence  north  four  miles.  Mankato  and 
South  Bend  were  the  only  points  in  the  county  in 
which  schools  were  actually  kept  in  1856  as  far 
as  known. 

On  December  10th,  1856,  Judson  Townsite 
was  platted  by  Eobert  Patterson  and  John 
Goodwin,  according  to  a  survey  made  by  An- 
thony D.  ]\rcSweeny.  The  proprietors  were 
Baptists,  and  named  their  prospective  city,  as 
well  as  the  township,  after  the  missionary  hero 
of   their   church.    Before   the  close  of   1856    set- 


78 


HISTOKY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


tlements  had  been  started  in  every  township  in 
the  county,  where  settlers  were  permitted.  The 
big  Indian  reservation  was,  however,  forbidden 
territory,  into  which  no  white  man  could  enter. 
The  Germans  continued  to  come  in  large  num- 
bers into  the  village  and  township  of  Mankato 
and  their  vicinity.  Among  the  number  were: 
Stephen  Lamm,  Henry  Himmelman,  Wm.  and 
Jacob  Bierbauer,  Mathias  Ulman,  Gottlieb 
Schmidt,  Henry  Guth,  J.  William  Hoer,  George 
Peter  Hoerr,  H.  L.  Gude,  John  A.  Arnold, 
Henry  Mohr,  Jacob  PfafE,  Frederick  Heinze 
and  his  sons :  Theodore,  Eobert  G.,  Charles 
A.,  Frederick  E.,  and  Ferdinand  G.,  Philip 
Mueller,  John  Eausch  and  his  sons  Jacob  and 
Joseph  C,  Henry  Schwarble,  Anton  Schipple, 
Joseph  Krause,  Jacob  Traub,  Henry  Heinzman, 
Ur.  A.  G.  Dornberg  and  a  host  of  others.  Besides 
the  prominent  Germans  mentioned  the  village  of 
Mankato  added  to  its  citizens  this  year  a  number 
of  men,  who  were  destined  to  play  a  very  impor- 
tant part  in  its  future  development  among 
whom  were :  John  A.  Willard,  Aaron  K.  Diikes, 
John  J.  Shaubut,  Father  Y.  Sommerisen,  Dr. 
Wm.  E.  McMahan,  Isaac  Marks,  (who  located 
at  the  Agency  the  year  before,  but  this  year 
opened  a  store  at  Mankato)  Dr.  Wm.  F.  Lewis, 
Dr.  M.  0.  Wickersham,  Clinton  B.  Hensley  (the 
first  editor).  Dr.  Eeuben  J.  Sibley,  James  E. 
Tinkcom,  Daniel  H.  Tyner  and  William  Irving. 
South  Bend,  also,  received  an  important  acces- 
sion this  year,  in  the  firm  of  Bxstrom  and 
Brown  from  La  Crosse.  The  Tivoli  neighborhood, 
on  the  line  between  Mankato  and  Le  Eay  Town- 
sliips,  began  to  be  settled  this  year.  In  April, 
1856,  came  Moses  0.  Bennett  and  his  brother- 
in-law,  Hollis  Whitney,  from  Kenosha,  Wis.  Mr. 
Bennett  was  a  man  above  the  average  in  ability 
and  force  of  character.  He  also  was  the  father 
of  a  large  family  of  grown  up  sons  and  daugh- 
ters, most  of  whom  settled  in  the  same  neighbor- 
hood. Mr.  and  Mrs.  Bennett  removed  to  their 
new  home  in  June,  and  with  them  came  their 
son-in-low.  Captain  Euegg  and  wife.  Their  sons 
Nathan  and  George  Bennett  came  by  team  across 
the  country.  In  October  of  the  same  year  ar- 
rived their  other  children;  Edward,  Charles, 
Lewis,  Levi,  Caroline  (Mrs.  Harvey)  and  Adna 
(Mrs.    Ciarpenter).   With   them   also   came   Hollis 


Whitney  and  family,  Henry  B.  Lane,  wife  and 
mother,  David  Davis  and  wife  and  son,  Thomas  E. 
Davis,  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  George  Corp  and  three 
children.  These  journeyed  from  Wisconsin  in 
seven  covered  wagons,  spending  five  weeks  on  the 
road.  Mr.  Corp,  being  a  blacksmith,  located  at 
Winnebago  Agency,  but  the  rest  settled  in  the  vi- 
cinity of  Tivoli.  Mr.  Bennett  was  soon  impressed 
with  the  need  of  a  saw  mill  in  his  new  forest 
home,  and  concluded  to  erect  one  as  soon  as 
possible.  He  accordingly  began  the  construction 
of  a  dam  on  the  Le  Sueur  that  fall.  About  the 
same  time  came  Captain  X.  W.  Dickinson  and 
family  and  located  on  Hoosier  Lake  in  Mankato 
Township. 

Another  important  acquisition  to  this  neigh- 
borhood was  the  Burgess  family,  who  arrived  in 
the  fall  of  this  same  year  and  settled  just 
across  the  line  in  Le  Eay.  John  F.  Burgess  was 
a  man  of  ability  and  character  and  had  a  large 
family  of  grown  up  children,  who  made  claims 
in  the  same  vicinity.  He  was  a  member  of  the 
Christian  church  and  his  son,  William  Burgess, 
often  preached  for  that  denomination.  During 
the  summer  of  1856,  Eev.  Elias  Clark,  a  young 
Congregational  minister  from  Berkshire  County, 
ilass.,  took  up  a  claim  near  Tivoli.  He  had  in- 
tended to  start  a  Congregational  church  at 
Mankato,  but  found  the  field  occupied  by  Father 
Thomson,  a  Presbyterian  (the  Home  Mission- 
ary Society  of  both  churches  then  being  united). 
The  Bennetts  and  their  many  relatives  and  neigh- 
bors in  the  Tivoli  neighborhood  belonged  to  the 
Congregational  faith,  having  come  originally 
from  near  Oberlin,  Ohio,  and  Eev.  Clark  might 
have  been  of  service  to  this  new  community, 
but  very  unwisely  he  at  once  incurred  the  en- 
mity of  Mr.  Bennett  and  his  family,  by  jumping 
a  claim  the  old  gentleman  was  trying  to  hold 
for  one  of  his  boys,  then  on  the  way  from  Wis- 
consin. After  a  few  months  Eev.  Clark  de- 
parted for  a  new  field,  but  kept  his  claim  for 
laany  years.  Besides  the  Burgess,  Davis  and 
Lane  families,  the  country  now  embraced  in  the 
township  of  Le  Eay  saw  a  number  of  worthy 
people  locate  within  its  border.  Among  these 
were:  George  A.  and  Michael  Beiries,  Alexander 
and  James  Doughlass,  Michael  D.  McNamara, 
William   Morris,    George   Chapman,   Eobert   Has- 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


7Q 


lip,  Alyin  P.  Reynolds,  August  Glockzin,  Con- 
rad Schogel,  Wm.  Gilfillan,  Patrick  Madigan, 
Joseph  Schlingerman,  George  P.  Lill  and  many 
others,  whose  names  we  have  not  learned,  or 
who  only  stayed  a  few  months.  Jamestown, 
also  had  a  large  influx  of  settlers  during  this 
same  year.  It  is  claimed  that  John  Heron 
was  the  first  settler  in  this  township  locating  in 
the  fall  of  1855,  near  Lake  Wita.  Others  say 
Enoch  G.  Burkhurst  and  Henry  "W.  Hodges  were 
the  first  and  that  they  came  in  1S.").J.  All  three 
families  must  have  come  in  1855  or  at  least  very 
early  in  1856,  but  Heron  seems  to  have  located 
in  Lime.  On  May  16th  1856  the  families  of 
Albert  A^olk,  Charles  Doran  and  Lawrence 
Bryne  took  claims  in  the  vicinity  of  Lake  Wash- 
ington. The  same  year  came  the  families  of  Law- 
rence, Patrick  and  Margaret  Smith.  In  Sep- 
tember came  Alvin  P.  Davies  and  family.  Oth- 
ers who  settled  in  Jamestown  this  year  were: 
James  P.  Ballatine,  a  school  teacher  after  whom 
Lake  Ballantine  was  named,  Patrick  Mullen, 
Timothy,  Thomas,  John  and  Michael  Murtaugh, 
Bowater  Summer,  Hiram  Wentworth,  Solon 
Webster,  James  P.  Westlake,  John  Spencer, 
Abner  Shearer,  John  and  Owen  ]\Ieigen,  Pat- 
rick McGrath,  Dennis  L.  Maher,  Andrew  C. 
Powble  and  Paul  Pasnacht.  About  the  same 
time  Samuel  Kerlinger  and  i\Iicliael  B.  Parrel 
with  their  families  made  their  homes  in  the 
same  locality. 

In  fact,  there  ^-as  hardly  a  claim  in  or  near 
the  timber  in  Blue  Earth  county,  outside  of  the 
Indian  Agency,  which  by  the  end  of  1856,  had 
not  been  taken  by  some  settler. 

The  year  1856  had  been  fairly  good  for  steam- 
boat trafl'ic  on  the  Minnesota.  There  had  been 
207  arrivals  from  that  river  at  the  St.  Paul 
levee,  an  increase  of  ninty-eight  over  the  pre- 
vious year.  The  boats  engaged  were  the  Equator, 
Reveille,  Globe,  Wave,  Minnesota,  Clarion,  Time 
and  Tide,  Berlin  and  H.  T.  Yeatman.  These 
boats  made  Mankato  on  the  majority  of  their 
trips  and  many  went  as  far  as  Ft.  Eidgely  and 
some  to  Yellow  Medicine.  The  transportation  of 
goods  and  supplies  by  the  gn\-ernment  to  the 
Indian  Agencies  and  Port  Ridgely  had  greatly 
stimulated  the  steamboat  business  on  the  ilinne- 
Bota.     This  increase  of  trade  and  traveling  facil- 


ities, together  with  the  money  brought  into 
the  country  for  payment  of  annuities  and  pur- 
chase of  furs  were  about  the  only  benefits  to 
the  settlers  from  their  Indian  neighbors,  while 
the  disadvantages  were  many. 

The  winter  of  1856-7  was  a  memorable  one 
in  the  history  of  the  country,  and  the  impression 
its  rigors  made  upon  the  settlers  of  Minnesota, 
then  poorly  sheltered,  poorly  clothed,  and  poorly 
fed,  has  not  been  entirely  effaced  to  this  day. 
The  winter  of  1855-6  had  been  quite  long  and 
severe,  but  it  fell  far  short  in  length,  depth  of 
snow,  intensity  of  cold,  and  frequency  of  storms, 
to  this  its  successor.  It  began  in  the  latter  part 
of  October.  On  December  1st,  1856,  one  of  the 
"svorst  snow  storms  ever  known  in  our  north- 
west set  in,  and  continued  without  any  abate- 
ment for  three  days  and  nights,  until  the 
ground  was  covered  to  the  depth  of  two  feet 
or  more,  on  an  average.  ^Vfter  this,  one  snow 
storm  followed  another  in  quick  succession,  while 
the  blizzards  filled  the  time  between.  The  snow 
lay  piled  in  mountain  heaps;  many  of  the  big 
drifts  being  fifteen  to  twenty  feet  in  depth.  The 
snow  and  cold  continued  through  all  of  April. 
Even  on  May  9th,  there  was  a  hard  snow  storm 
and  the  cold  so  great  that  sun  dogs  appeared. 
During  all  of  May  and  paiily  into  June  the 
fnow  clung  to  some  hillsides  facing  north,  and 
even  in  July  remains  of  huge  drifts  were  found 
in  deep,  wooded  glens,  secluded  from  the  sun. 
No  wonder  the  settlers  thought  the  Minnesota 
winters  were  long  and  cold,  and  that  their 
dread  fell  upon  the  whole  country. 

On  January  6th,  1857,  the  election  precinct 
of  Butternut  Valley  was  created,  comprising 
the  present  towns  of  Butternut  Valley  and  Cam- 
bria. 

Since  July  1st,  1856,  a  mail  route  had  been 
established  between  Port  Snelling  and  Sioux 
City,  and  a  contract  to  carry  a  bi-weekly  mail 
between  the  two  points  made  with  George  H. 
and  John  Q.  A.  Marsh  of  Mankato  and  J.  W. 
Babcock  of  Kasota.  Hoxie  Rathburn  one  of  the 
first  settlers  at  Mankato,  was  employed  by  them 
for  the  hard  and  dangerous  duty  of  mail  carrier. 
About  Christmas  1856  he  was  overtaken  by  one 
of  the  blizzards  of  this  terrible  winter  and 
perished  near  the  Des  Moines  in  Jackson  County. 


80 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


Mail  service  over  these  inhospitable  plains  had 
to  be  suspended  the  balance  of  the  year.  The 
mail  between  Mankato  and  South  Bend  and 
St.  Paul  had  been  increased  to  a  tri-weekly  ser- 
vice;,  but  the  storms  of  this  winter  interfered 
gTeatly  with  its  regularity. 


Early  in  1857,  the  question  of  a  mail  route 
between  Mankato  and  New  Ulm  began  to  be 
agitated,  and  the  Legislature  was  induced  to 
memoralize  Congress  to  that  effect  in  February. 


^lORTOX  S.  WILKIXSOX. 


CHAPTER  X. 

'HE   INKPADUTAH  MASSACRE    OP  1857. 


A  terrible  winter  and  an  extremely  late,  cold 
spring  were  not  the  only  evils  in  tlie  annals  of 
our  county,  which  characterized  the  year  1857. 
Its  months  of  March  and  April  gave  the  settlers 
their  first  genuine  Indian  scare  and  brought 
them  in  close  touch  with  the  horrors  of  an 
Indian  massacre. 

In  the  Winter  of  1853-4  a  Sisseton  subchief 
named,  Sintomnidutah  (Eed-all-over)  with  his 
mother,  wife  and  two  or  three  children  had  been 
foully  murdered  by  a  disreputable  white  whisky 
trader  named  Henry  Lott,  a  few  miles  north  of 
Algona,  Iowa.  Lott  and  his  son,  who  had  partic- 
ipated in  the  bloody  affair,  fled  to  California, 
and  were  never  punished.  Whether  this  Sin- 
tomnidutah was  the  same  chief  noted  in  con- 
nection with  early  settlement  of  JMankato  may 
be  doubted,  but  there  is  strong  ground  to  believe 
that  he  was.  His  name  and  the  name  of  his 
son,  Joshpadutah  (usually  called  "Josh")  are 
the  same.  The  description  given  in  each  case 
of  the  chief's  personal  appearance  and  character, 
tdly  very  well.  Each  is  spoken  of  as  a  large 
stately  Indian  of  commanding  presence,  possessed 
of  a  bold  aggressive  spirit  and  much  opposed  to 
the  coming  of  the  Whi'te  men  upon  his  hunting 
grounds,  so  much  that  he  was  nicknamed  "The 
Il'ater  of  the  Paleface."  The  fact,  also,  that  the 
Jlankato  chief  and  his  hand  claimed  northwest- 
ern Iowa  and  southwestern  Minnesota  as  their 
special  hunting  groTinds,  and  the  tradition  that 
the  last  known  of  the  chief  Ijy  the  whites  was, 
that  he  was  going  into  Iowa  to  hunt,  as  well 
as  his  sudden  disappearence,  add  to  the  plausi- 
bility of  his  identity  with  the  victim  of  Lott's 
vengence. 

Attached  to  Sintomnidutah's  wild  band  in  a 
way  was  a  renegade  subchief  of  the  Wahpekutas, 
named  Inkpadutah  (Eed  End).  The  latter,  with 
two  or  three  companions  of  lUce  desperate  charac- 
ter, had  been  expelled  from  their  native  band,  who 


lived  on  the  Cannon  Eiver,  for  the  murder  of 
their  chief.  The  fugitives  first  went  to  A'ermil- 
lion  river  in  South  Dakota,  but  later  seemed  to 
Iiavc  joined  themselves  nioi-e  or  less  to  Sintom- 
nidutah's band.  Ties  of  marriage  and,  some  say 
of  blood,  existed  between  them.  After  the  chief's 
death  Inkpadutah  seems  to  have  aspired  to  the 
chieftainship,  and  a  few  of  the  most  lawless  of 
the  band  joined  themselves  to  him.  The  Indians 
v\'ere  very  angry  at  the  murder  of  ■  their  chief, 
and  did  not  believe  the  whites  made  much  effort 
to  apprehend  the  murderer.  Inlqjadutah,  being 
naturally  of  an  ugly,  revengeful  disposition,  was 
especially  bitter,  and  his  followers  shared  his 
■\enom.  The  rapid  appropriation  of  their  hunt- 
ing grounds  by  the  whites  was  another  cause 
of  their  hate.  During  the  summer  of  1856  six 
or  seven  families,  who  had  mostly  come  original- 
ly from  Howard  County  Ind.,  settled  on  Lake 
Okoboji,  the  most  southerly  of  the  group  of 
bikes  usually  called  "Spirit  Lake,"  from  the 
largest  of  their  number.  About  the  same  time 
a  townsite  company  from  Eed  Wing,  Minn., 
laid  out  ,1  town  on  the  lake  and  built  thereon 
a  log  trading  post,  which  was  in  charge  of  three 
or  four  young  men.  The  same  summer  another 
small  group  of  settlers  located  on  the  Des 
Moines,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  present  village  of 
Jackson,  Minnesota :  and  William  and  George 
Wood  had  laid  out  a  townsite  in  their  midst, 
and  opened  a  store  there  and  were  enjoying  a 
good  trade,  especially  with  the  Indians.  Both 
colonies  were  very  remotely  situated  from  other 
uhite  settlements,  and  were  an  invasion  into 
tlie  ven'  heart  of  Inkpadutah's  hunting  grounds. 
It  is  said  that  Eed  End  with  his  band  were 
camped  in  the  fall  of  1856  for  some  time  near 
;\Iinneopa  Falls,  and  that  they  went  thence  to- 
vrard  the  Sioux  City  countrv.  Brutish  and  l>lood 
thirsty  by  nature,  and  tlieir  innate  ugliness 
inflamed    by    the    circumstances    just    mentioned 


81 


82 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


they  were  ripe  for  mischief.  The  terrible  winter 
had  driven  most  of  the  game  from  the  coun- 
try and  hunting  was  almost  impossible.  Their 
evil  tempers  thus  made  more  desperate  by  cold 
and  famine,  it  needed  but  a  small  excuse  to  kill 
and  plunder  the  hated  paleface,  whom  they 
imagined  were  the  ca.use  of  their  woes. 

They  reached  the  Okoboji  settlement  on  the 
7th  of  March  1857  and  the  next  day  the  trouble 
occurred.  Just  how  it  started,  perhaps  will 
never  be  known,  but  the  Indians  claimed  it 
arose  from  an  attempt  to  steal  some  hay  from  a 
settler  for  their  ponies,  and  that  in  the  quarrel 
the  settler  was  shot.  Having  a  taste  of  blood  the 
savages,  like  wild  beasts,  thirsted  for  more.  The 
settlers  were  in  their  several  cabins,  scattered 
some  distance  apart,  in  the  timber  about  the 
lakes,  and  had  no  suspicion  of  danger.  There  were 
only  twelve  to  thirteen  warriors  in  Inkpadutah's 
band  at  this  time  and  if  the  settlers  had  re- 
ceived warning,  so  they  could  mass  their  force 
or  been  on  their  guard,  they  might  have  defend- 
ed themselves  and  families  with  ease.  But  as 
it  happened  the  Indians  went  to  each  cabin  in 
force  and  pretended  to  be  friendly.  The  fact 
that  they  had  guns  roused  no  suspicion,  as 
they  always  carried  them.  Taking  the  man 
wholly  off  his  guard  they  would  shoot  him  first 
and  then  butcher  the  women  and  children  at 
their  leisure.  Any  person,  who  attempted  to 
go  from  one  house  to  another,  was  shot  from 
ambush.  By  this  treacherous  means  on  the  8th 
and  9th  of  March  the  red  fiends  slaughtered 
the  entire  settlement  on  Lake  Okoboji,  men, 
women,  and  children,  except  two  or  three  of  the 
men,  who  happened  to  be  away  after  provisions, 
and  three  young  women,  Miss  Abbie  Gardner, 
Mrs.  Alvin  Noble  and  Mrs.  Joseph  Thacher, 
whom  they  carried  oif  as  captives.  In  all  thirty- 
three  persons  were  butchered  at  Lake  Okoboji. 
After  spending  two  or  three  days  and  nights 
in  dancing,  feasting  and  all  manner  of  wild  or- 
gies, the  murderers  gathered  such  plunder  as 
they  wished  from  the  cabins  and,  loading  the 
three  captives,  the  squaws  and  the  ponies  there- 
with, they  moved  northward.  On  the  banks  of 
Spirit  Lake  proper,  on  March  13th,  they  came 
upon  the  cabin  of  a  young  couple  named  Marble, 
who  had  located  there  the  fall  before.  Three  or 


four  of  the  Indians  went  to -the  cabin  and  pre- 
tended to  be  friendly,  until  the  proper  opportuni- 
ty came,  when  they  shot  Mr.  Marble  and  carried 
away  his  wife  as  their  fourth  captive.  Thence 
they  proceeded  to  Heron  Lake,  Minnesota. 

The  terrible  tragedy  at  Lake  Okoboji  was 
soon  discovered  by  Morris  Markham,  a  young 
trapper,  who  immediately  carried  the  news  to 
Springfield.  The  settlers  there  gathered  at  the 
log  house  of  one  J.  Thomas  for  mutual  pro- 
tection, and  on  March  18th  dispatched  two 
young  men,  Joseph  B.  ChefEins,  whose  home 
had  been  at  Mankato,  and  Henry  Tretts,  to 
Port  Eidgely  for  help,  where  they  arrived  the 
next  morning.  Captain  Bernard  B.  Bee  with 
forty-eight  men  were  detailed  at  once  to  go  to 
the  scene  of  trouble.  By  noon  they  were 
ready  to  start.  Joseph  La  Fromboise  went  as 
guide,  and  Judge  Flandreau,  then  Sioux  Agent, 
and  Philander  Prescott  volunteered  to  accom- 
pany the  expedition.  The  snow  lay  upon  the 
ground  in  a  great  mass,  covering  it  to  a  depth 
of  two  or  three  feet  on  the  plains  and  ten  to 
fifteen  feet  in  the  hollows,  and  it  was  beginning 
to  get  soft.  Had  the  soldiers  been  then  equipped 
and  trained  for  Indian  fight"ing,  they  might 
have  made  a  bee  line  over  the  prairie  to  Spring- 
field and  reached  there  easily  in  two  days,  fol- 
lowing the  tracks  of  the  messengers.  But  heav- 
ily accoutred  as  they  were,  and  obliged  to 
carry  their  ammunition  and  baggage  in  cumber- 
some wagon  trains,  it  was  wholly  impracticable. 
Hence  they  were  obliged  to  follow  the  only  tra- 
veled road,  which  led  down  the  Minnesota  to 
South  Bend.  They  reached  the  latter  place  on 
Saturday  night,  March  21st,  and  spent  the 
next  day  there  resting  and  gathering  supplies. 
Thence  they  proceeded  by  way  of  Lake  Crystal 
and  by  the  evening  of  the  24th  reached  Slocum's 
home  on  the  Watonwan.  Here  all  semblance 
of  a  track  ended,  and -a  few  rods  beyond  was  an 
immense  snow  bank,  which  it  took  the  entire 
force  all  of  the  next  day  to  cut  through. 

In  the  meantime  Inlcpadutah  sent  two  spies 
to  Springfield  from  his  camp  on  Heron  Lake. 
They  found  the  Wood  boys  at  their  store,  heed- 
less of  danger  as  they  gave  no  credit  to  Mr. 
Markham's  story.  They  sold  the  two  spies  a  large 
quantity   of   ammunition   against  the  protest  of 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


83 


the  settlers,  at  whose  fears  they  laughed.  The 
settlers  eontiinied  to  congregate  at  the  Thom- 
as cabin,  except  one  Josiah  Stewart,  who  with 
his  family  had  returned  to  their  own  cabin.  On 
March  26th,  Inkpadutah  and  his  bloody  band 
appeared  at  the  Springfield  settlement.  They 
enticed  William  and  George  Wood  out  of  their 
store,  and  treacherously  shot  them  both,  and 
then  plundered  and  burned  the  store. 

Under  pretense  of  wanting  to  buy  a  hog,  they 
induced  Mr.  Stewart  to  walk  out  of  his  cabin 
into  an  ambush  where  he  was  killed  and  then 
murdered  the  wife  and  children,  except  one  boy, 
who  managed  to  hide.  The  settlers  gathered  at 
the  Thomas  house  were  eagerly  looking  every 
moment  for  the  return  of  the  messengers  with 
the  soldiers  from  Fort  Eidgely.  Little  Willie 
Thomas,  ten  years  of  age,  saw  a  man  coming 
down  the  road,  whom  he  took  to  be  Henry  Tretts, 
and  he  ran  to  the  house  saying  Henry  was  com- 
ing. The  people  rushed  out  to  meet  him.  It 
proved  to  be  a  ruse  to  get  the  settlers  out  of 
the  house.  An  Indian  dressed  as  a  white  man, 
pretended  to  be  coming  down  the  road.  As  soon 
as  the  whites  were  fairly  outside  the  door  a 
volley  from  a  dozen  Indian  rifles,  from  behind 
the  neighboring  trees,  was  poured  into  them. 
Little  Willie  fell  dead,  but  the  rest  all  got  back 
into  the  house  and  barricaded  the  door.  It  was  then 
found  that  Mr.  Thomas  had  been  shot  in  the 
wrist,  David  Carver  in  the  side,  and  Miss 
Swanger  in  the  shoulder.  The  savages  kept 
shooting  at  the  house,  and  the  whites  fired  back 
from  port  holes  made  between  the  logs.  The  fight 
continued  until  night,  when  the  Indians  gave 
up  the  battle  and  returned,  loaded  with  booty 
from  the  store,  to  their  camp  at  Heron  Lake. 
In  all  seven  persons  had  been  killed  and  three 
wounded    at  the    Springfield    settlement. 

The  very  day  this  attack  occurred  Captain 
Bee  and  his  command  left  Mr.  Slocum's  residence, 
in  Lincoln  Township.  After  the  most  toilsome 
march,  cutting  their  way  through  the  deep  snow, 
and  constantly  having  to  extricate  their  teams 
from  the  drifts,  wet  to  the  skin  from  the  melting 
snow  during  the  day,  their  clothes  frozen  stiff 
about  them  at  night,  they  arrived  on  the  night 
of  the  third  day,  at  a  point  on  the  Des  Moines 
eight  miles   north   of   Springfield.   Here   a   half 


breed  from  Traverse  Des  Sioux,  named  Joe 
Coursalle,  had  a  small  trading  post.  He  told 
them  that  Inkpadutah  had  wiped  out  the  settle- 
ments at  both  Spirit  Lake  and  Springfield,  and 
that  he  was  then  camped  at  Heron  Lake,  hav- 
ing in  his  possession  four  women  captives,  a 
large  number  of  horses,  and  a  great  quantity 
of  plunder.  Early  next  morning  Lieut.  Mur- 
ray with  23  men,  mounted  on  all  the  horses  and 
mules  available,  were  dispatched  ia  pursuit  of  the 
murderers.  They  found  the  camp  and  a  large 
amount  of  booty,  but  the  imps  of  the  evil  one 
had  fled,  dragging  with  them  the  poor  captives. 
The  soldiers  made  no  effort  at  further  pursuit, 
either  because  they  were  tired  out  and  thought 
further  chase  would  be  useless,  or  because  they 
were  afraid  to  encounter  so  desperate  a  foe. 
After  returning  to  the  main  command,  Lieut. 
Murray  was  dispatched,  on  March  30th,  with  a 
mounted  detachment  towards  Spirit  Lake,  to 
scout  for  Indians  and  bury  the  dead  in  that  set- 
tlement, while  Capt.  Bee,  with  the  rest  of  his 
command,    proceeded   to    Springfield. 

The  news  of  these  terrible  massacres  spread 
like  fire  through  all  the  settlements  of  southern 
Minnesota  and  northern  Iowa  and,  greatly  aug- 
menting in  terribleness  as  it  went,  created  a 
panic  of  fear  everywhere.  There  were  thousands 
of  Sioux  Indians  then  in  this  section  of  our 
territory,  and  bands  of  them  were  encamped  in 
almost  every  precinct  of  Blue  Earth  county. 
In  the  wild  excitement,  which  prevailed,  every- 
one of  these  were  under  suspicion,  though  in 
fact  wholly  innocent  and  even  ignorant  of  any 
hostility  whatever.  A  mile  or  two  northeast  of 
Madelia,  almost  touching  the  western  line  of 
Blue  Earth  County,  are  a  group  of  small  lakes 
with  some  timber.  Here  five  or  six  Indian  fam- 
ilies were  camped,  engaged  in  fishing,  oblivious 
of  any  hostile  intention,  near  a  cabin  occupied 
by  Theodore  Leisch  and  Philip  Schaffer.  In  the 
same  grove  a  little  to  the  north  lived  Mr.  Bisier 
and  family  and  north  of  him  Mr.  Boechler  and 
family.  A  few  more  settlers  lived,  also,  in  the 
near  vicinity.  Hearing  of  the  massacre  these 
people  became  uneasy  at  the  mere  presence  of 
Indians,  and  to  their  heated  imagination  every 
move  these  red  neighbors  made  was  sus- 
picious.    At  last   one   or  two   families   conclud- 


84 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAKTH  COUNTY. 


ed  to  take  refuge  at  the  home  of  Isaac  Slocum, 
whose  cabin  was  somewhat  larger  than  the  ordi- 
nary, and  had  a  group  of  log  buildings  about  it, 
consisting  of  a  blacksmith  shop,  granary  and 
barns.  It  was:  the  usual  stopping  place  on  the 
road  between  Springfield  and  Mankato,  and 
hence  was  the  place  where  news  from  the  outside 
world  and  especially  from  the  seat  of  trouble, 
would  be  first  heard.  This  movement  was  a  sig- 
nal for  a  stampede  of  all  settlers  around  these 
lakes,  and  along  the  Watonwan  near  Madelia, 
then  called  "Wacapa."  Most  of  these  gathered 
at  Slocum's  house  and  each  had  a  tale  of  dark 
suspicion  against  the  savages  camped  by  the 
lakes.  A  stockade  of  logs  was  built  around 
the  Slocum  house  and  guard  kept. 

Fortunately  a  couple  of  sleighs,  loaded  with 
groceries  and  provisions  for  the  Wood  Bros.' 
store  at  Jackson,  had  got  stuck  in  a  snow  bank 
near  Slocum-'s  house  shortly  before  the  Indian 
trouble,  and  were  still  stored  at  this  hospital 
home.  These  were  appropriated  by  the  settlers 
and,  with  the  beeves  killed,  kept  them  from  hun- 
ger. 

On  April  9th  Joseph  Cheffins  arrived  on  his 
way  to  Mankato  from  Jackson^  whence  he  had 
accompanied  the  military.  Fresh  from  the 
scenes  of  the  massacre,  his  vivid  description  of 
the  horrors  he  had  just  witnessed  at  Jackson 
and  Okoboji  did  not  tend  to  quiet  the  nerves 
of  the  settlers.  Excited  by  their  fears  they 
gave  exaggerated  accounts  of  the  conduct  of 
the  Indians  in  their  vicinity,  which  showed 
conclusively,  as  they  thought,  that  mischief 
was  brewing  and  that  an  attack  might  be 
expected  from  hundreds  of  savages  any  moment. 
A  most  urgent  appeal  for  immediate  help  was 
dispatched  to  Mankato  by  Mr.  Cheffins,  which 
was  delivered  the  following  night.  There  was 
great  excitement  at  the  county  seat  on  Mr. 
Cheffins  arrival.  It  was  the  first  real  account 
of  the  awful  tragedy,  which  had  reached  our 
county,  and  its  extent  and  the  details  of  its 
horrors  told  by  an  eye  witness  created  uni- 
versal fear  and  consternation.  A  large  dinner 
bell,  which  hung  in  a  frame  over  the  Mankato 
House,  was  rung  as  for  fire  to  call  the  people 
together.  A  mass  meeting  was  hastily  convened 
at    the    log    school    house,    where    an    anxious 


throng  of  people  soon  gathered.  Terror  and 
excitement  ran  high,  and  men,  women,  and 
children  came  rushing  to  hear  the  latest  news. 
Mr.  Cheffins  was  the  center  of  interest  and  he 
was  put  under  oath  by  John  A.  Willard,  as 
Notary  Public,  and  testified  in  detail  regarding 
the  massacres  at  Springfield  and  Spirit  Lake, 
and  told  how  the  settlers  around  Madelia  had 
been  driven  from  their  homes  by  the  hostile 
demonstrations  of  large  bands  of  Indians  in 
that  vicinity.  That  a  massacre  was  likely  to 
occur  any  day.  That  the  settlers  were  mostly 
gathered  at  Mr.  Slocum's  house  and  were  beg- 
ging for  help  as  the  savages  outnumbered  them 
ten  to  one,  and  were  well  armed.  Speeches 
were  made,  and  fifty  to  sixty  persons  volun- 
teered to  go  at  once  to  the  defense  of  the 
Watonwan  settlers.  These  volunteers  agreed  to 
report  at  eight  o'clock  next  morning  at  the 
Mankato  House  with  guns  and  ammunition  ready 
for  action.  A  messenger  was  also  dispatched 
on  a  mule  that  night  to  Fort  Snelling  to  request 
military  aid. 

When  morning  came  (Saturday,  April  11th) 
about  thirty-five  persons  answered  to  their  names, 
the  rest  failed  to  show  up  for  various  reasons. 
About  ten  o'clock  A.  M.,  the  companv  started 
on  foot  through  the  mud  aind  slush  of  melting 
snow.  They  were  a  motley  crowd,  armed  with 
rifles  and  shot  guns.  Some  had  powder  horns 
or  flasks  of  every  design  dangling  from  their 
necks.  Some  were  rigged  in  the  stvle  of  west- 
ern hunters,  with  bright  colored  shirts,  and  a 
belt  full  of  pistols  and  knives;  one  had  cut  his 
coat  away  after  the  style  of  the  dress  imiform 
of  an  old  country  soldier,  and  wore  a  sort  of 
military  hat  turned  up  in  front.  Besser  and 
Chism  were  the  only  two  mounted.  They  wore 
military  gloves  and  boots  and  had  bright  col- 
ored scarfs  tied  across  their  shoulders  and 
breasts.  While  hardly  any  of  them  had  much 
military  knowledge  or  discipline,  yet  they  were 
all  brave  men.  They  neglected  in  their  haste 
to  take  any  rations  or  blankets  and  hence  were 
ill  prepared  for  a  long  and  hard  campaign. 

When  the  Blue  Earth  bridge  was  reached 
the  company  halted  and  elected  the  following 
officers : 


sci-iooi-    Mou^e      zi  A  ^      M^oiSoiM     <-«Ke      ^<i<a         ro,er  C  H  O  F>  c  t^ 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


85 


Captain,  Dr.  Wm.  F.  Lewis. 
First   Lieutenant,   E.  D.   Brunei. 
Second    Lieutenant,    Frederick    Ayres. 
Orderly    Sergeant,    W.    S.    Sargent. 

The .  other   members    of    the    company    as    far 
as  we  could  learn  their  names  were : 

John  Hodgson. 

Emerson  Hodgson. 

Joseph   Hodgson. 

Charles   Barney. 

George   Peter   Hoerr. 

George   Becker. 

Uriah  Karmany. 

Byron  Comstock. 

John    C.   Jones. 

James    T.    Besser. 

Louis   Wagner. 

John    B.    Guthrie. 

Chism. 

Otto. 

Clinton    B.    Hensley     (Ed.    Mankato    Independent). 

Henry    Humphrey. 

C.    C.   Whitman. 

Perry    Franz. 

Stanley    Johnson. 

Stephan  Kissinger. 

Elisha  Hill. 

Jason    F.    Wickersham. 

George    Rose. 

Brewster. 

MciluUen. 

Herbert    N.    Bingham. 

Geo.   W.   Curtis. 

It  was  late  in  the  afternoon  when  the  com- 
pany reached  the  log  house  of  W.  E.  Eobinson 
at  Crystal  Lake.  Here  the  few  settlers  of  the 
vicinity  had  gathered  for  mutual  protection 
and  built  them  a  rude  fort.  Thither  Calvin 
Webb  had  been  carried,  on  his  sick  bed,  and 
died  the  next  day.  Thence  he  was  borne  to  his 
burial  by  the  men  only,  all  armed  with  guns. 
The  Mankato  Company  had  intended  to  pass 
the  night  at  the  Eobinson  house,  but  soon  after 
their  arrival  Tom  Lameraux  returned  from  a 
visit  to  Sloeum's  place  with  the  alarming  news, 
that  some  thirty  or  forty  Indians,  decked  in 
war  paint,  had  just  been  holding  a  big  war 
dance  close  by  Slocums'  house,  and  the,  settlers 
there  were  expecting  to  be  attacked  any  moment. 
Captain  Lewis  then  called  for  Volunteers  to 
proceed  at  once.  Though  wet  and  tired  every 
man  stepped  into  line,  except  one,  who  had 
joined  them  at  South  Bend.  They  pressed 
hurriedly  on  over  the  ten  additional  miles  to 
Sloeum's  where  they  arrived  about  dusk.  Their 
coming  was  a  welcome  relief  to  the  terrified 
settlers.  The  Sloeum  residence  was  a  three 
story   log   structure   including   a   side   hill    base- 


ment.     The    settlers    had    been    busy    all    day 
building   log   breast   works   and   stockades   about 
the  house.     Guards  were  stationed  in  these  for- 
tifications all  night,  and,  when  not  so  employed, 
the  men   slept  on   the  floor   of  the  third  story, 
and   in   the   barns.      The   women   stayed   up   all 
night   to    bake   and    cook.      In    accordance    with 
the   plans    of   the   previous   night,    the    Mankato 
company  rose  early,  and  by  four  o'clock  in  the 
morning  had  eaten  their  breakfast,   and  started 
for  the  Indian  camp  by  the  Leisch  cabin,  four 
miles  away,  with  intent  to  surprise  and  capture 
the    savages.      Under    guidance    of    one    of    the 
settlers   they   reached   the   lak«s   at    early    dawn. 
As   they  were  hurrying   across   the   prairie   they 
had   noticed   in   the   dim   light   objects   hovering 
ahead   of   them,    on   the   horizon   line,    evidently 
Indian   spies.      Two    swift    runners    were    called 
for.      Whitman    and    Kissinger    volunteered    and 
dashed    ahead   like    deer,   but   the    Indians    were 
swifter     than     they.       On    reaching    the    nojost 
easterly  of  the  group  of  lakes,  the  company  was 
divided  into  three  squads.     Six  men  under  Lieut. 
Ayres  took  the  lake  on  the  east,  Lieut,  Bruner 
with  fifteen  men  followed  up  the  westerly  lake, 
while  Capt.  Lewis  with  the  main  body  marched 
through  the  timber  between  the  two  lakes.   This 
center    column    soon    came    upon    eight    teepees, 
but  all  deserted.     The  desertion  must  have  been 
very  recent  though,   for  the  fires   in   them  were 
burning    brightly    and    Indians    could    be    seen 
skulking   through   the    brush    and    behind    trees. 
I'tiree   Indians  attempted  to  cross   the  east  lakej 
on  a  couple  of  ponies,  but  the  ice  was  too  slip- 
pery and  the  ponies  fell,  so  they  retreated  again 
into  the  timber.     Lieut.  Ayres  and  his  six  men 
were   on   the   ice   of    the   lake   running   towards 
the    Indians.      Capt.    Lewis    noticed    the    peril 
they    were    in    from    such    an    exposed    position, 
and  signaled  them  to  join  the  main  column  in 
the  timber,  which  they  did  with  alacrity.     Fir- 
ing was  now  heard  on  the  left  wing.     Brunner's 
men  had  come  upon  a  number  of  Indians,  and 
both   sides   had  opened   fire.     Henry   Humphrey 
and  Chas.  Barney  could  speak  some   Sioux,  and 
they  called  out  to  the  Indians  that  they  did  not 
intend   to   do   them   any  harm   and  the   Indians 
stopped  firing.    But  Perry  Franz  and  one  or  two 
others   were   so  excited   and   officious,   that  they 


86 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  BAKTH  COUNTY. 


disregarded  all  orders  and  kept  blazing  at  the 
Indians.  Thereupon  the  savages  retreated  hur- 
riedly over  a  small  ridge  and  disappeared.  The 
whites  had  now  united  their  force  and  were 
discussing  the  advisability  of  following  the 
enemy,  when  the  latter  returned  largely  re-en- 
forced and  opened  a  brisk  fire  upon  them.  A 
ball  struck  Becker's  gun-stalk,  another  hit  a 
big  powder  Hask,  which  hung  from  the  neck 
of  Emerson  Hodgson  and  grazed  his  fingers  as 
it  glanced,  while  a  third  passed  through  the 
upturned  rim  of  Hensley's  cap.  The  whites 
retreated  a  few  steps  into  the  timber,  and  got 
beliind  trees,  and  for  about  half  an  hour  both 
sides  kept  up  a  hot  fire.  The  Indians  then 
retreated  across  a  small  opening  in  the  timber, 
where  a  grassy  swale  marked  the  outlet  of  one 
of  the  lakes,  into  a  vacant  house,  and  some 
thick  brush  beyond.  One  of  their  number  had 
been  shot  in  the  arm.  They  now  dared  the 
whites  to  come  after  them.  The  young  bucks 
stripped  to  their  breech  clouts  yelled  and  danced 
all  manner  of  antics  just  beyond  the  opening 
as  they  uttered  their  challenges.  The  whites, 
however,  feared  an  ambush  and  concluded  to 
return  to  Slocum's  for  more  ammunition  and 
re-enforcements.  The  retreat  almost  became  a 
route  as  they  ran  over  the  prairie,  strung  out 
in  disorder.  As  soon  as  the  whites  were  gone 
the  Indians  hurriedly  packed  their  effects  and 
left  for  the  north. 

The  excitement  now  was  at  its  height.  The 
settlers  in  the  extreme  southwestern  part  of 
the  county  gathered  into  Shelbyville.  Those 
living  a  little  further  down  on  the  Blue  Earth 
fortified  themselves  in  Mr.  Eeed's  house,  near 
the  present  village  of  Vernon  Center.  Those 
along  Perch  Creek  and  along  the  Watonwan, 
below  the  Slocum  neighborhood  fled  to  Garden 
City,  where  two  forts  were  built  one  about  Pol- 
som's  log  house  north  of  the  village  and  the 
other  on  the  south  of  the  river  by  Edson  Gerry's 
house.  Gerry  had  moved  his  first  claim  shanty 
from  the  village  and  put  it  up  near  his  other 
house.  The  space  between  the  two  houses  was 
now  closed  in  by  log  walls  and  port  holes  made 
in  them  and  in  the  roofs  of  the  houses.  Here 
an  amusing  incident  occurred,  though  at  the 
time   it   seemed   serious   enough   to    the   persons 


involved.  Two  or  three  miles  below  the  pre- 
sent village  of  Vernon  Center,  on  the  Blue 
Earth  river,  lived  Dr.  Arledge.  Just  below  the 
house  on  the  river  bottom  were  camped  a  few  In- 
dians making  maple  sugar.  When  the  doctor  heard 
of  the  massacres  he  and  his  family  were  greatly 
agitated  and  imagined  they  saw  signs  of  mis- 
chief in  the  Indian  camp.  They  wished  to  fiee 
to  Garden  City,  but  did  not  dare  expose  them- 
selves outside  the  cabin  for  fear  of  inviting 
an  attack.  The  son,  Alexander,  a  grown  up 
young  man,  finally  dressed  himself  in  a  blan- 
ket and,  thus  disguised,  mounted  on  a  pony 
and  armed  with  his  rifle,  he  hoped  to  pass  the 
Indian  camp  without  their  knowing  he  was  a 
white  man. 

The  previous  fall  Joseph  McClanahan  had 
located  a  claim  in  Shelby  township  and  then 
gone  back  to  Indiana.  On  this  particular  day 
he  was  returning  to  his  claim  and  had  reached 
Garden  City.  They  told  him  of  the  Indian 
Massacres  and  urged  him  to  stay  there  as  there 
were  Indians  all  about.  He  pretended  to  dis- 
believe the  whole  story,  and  thought  he  could 
get  to  his  claim  without  trouble.  The  snow 
was  still  deep  and  melting,  making  the  walking 
very  hard.  He  had  gone  about  two  miles  and 
a  half,  when  lo !  and  behold !  coming  down  the 
road  toward  him  full  tilt  was  a  blanketed 
Indian,  on  a  pony  and  waving  a  gun.  It  did 
not  take  McClanahan  but  a  very  small  fraction 
of  a  second  to  wheel  about  and  take  to  his 
heels.  It  was  a  fearful  race.  Young  Arledge 
(for  it  was  he)  hallooed  to  try  and  stop  him, 
but  all  McClanahan  heard  were  blood  curdling 
warhoops,  and  he  ran  all  the  faster.  For  two 
miles  he  -  sped  like  a  deer  over  that  terrible 
road  of  half  melted  snow  and  then  fell  in  a 
faint  completely  exhausted.  Young  Arlidge 
jumped  from  his  horse  and  rubbed  his  fore- 
head and  face  with  snow  to  restore  him  to  con- 
sciousness. In  his  semi-delirious  condition, 
McClanahan  imagined  he  felt  the  cold  steel 
of  the  scalping  knife  pass  around  his  head.  The 
men  building  the  fort  by  Gerry's  house  were  horror 
stricken  to  vritness  such  a  bold,  shocking  murder 
committed  before  their  eyes,  and  seizing  their 
guns  rushed  up  the  road  to  the  rescue.  Fortu- 
nately Arledge  managed  to  disclose  his  identity 


HISTOEY  OF  BLtJE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


87 


before  they  fired.  McClanahan  was  so  overcome 
by  the  fright  and  exlaaustion  that  he  was  con- 
fined to  his  bed  for  some  days. 

The  country  was  in  a  delirium  of  excitement 
and  the  wildest  rumors  were  everywhere  afloat. 
The  Saturday  evening  after  the  Mankato  Com- 
pany left  for  the  Sloeum  neighborhood,  fleeing, 
settlers  began  pouring  into  South  Bend  and 
Mankato  each  vieing  with  the  other  in  sensa- 
tional tales.  The  walls  of  the  three  story  stone 
building  of  General  Leech  at  Mankato  were 
about  completed.  This  was  soon  transformed 
into  a  fort  by  barricading  with  stone  and  plank 
the  doors  and  windows,  and  cutting  loop  holes 
for  shooting.  A  quantity  of  big  stones  were 
carried  to  the  top,  to  hurl  down  on  any  assail- 
ant. This  building  and  the  log  school  house 
were  packed  with  refugees,  who  slept  in  heaps 
on  the  floors.  There  were  persistant  rumors 
that  there  had  been  a  desperate  battle  fought 
between  the  Mankato  company  and  the  Indians, 
and  that  many  had  been  killed  on  both  sides. 
Some  said  the  company  had  been  ambushed  and 
annihilated.  Later  in  the  night  the  report  came 
that  all  the  settlers  along  the  Watonwan  had 
been  massacred  and  that  Garden  City  had  been 
captured  and  burned.  It  seems  a  straw  stack  in 
that  vicinity  had  been  fired  to  light  some  refu- 
gees across  the  river.  Later  in  the  night  a 
settler  from  the  Watonwan  county  came  hur- 
rying into  Mankato  with  the  news,  that  the 
Indians  had  taken  Garden  City  and  that  he 
could  see  the  flames  of  the  burning  town.  That 
an  army  of  nine  hundred  savages,  all  well 
armed  were  on  the  way  to  attack  South  Bend 
and  Mankato  and  would  be  there  in  a  few 
hours.  The  town  was  soon  in  a  panic  of  fear. 
Front  street  was  lined  with  the  teams  of  fleeing 
settlers.  Men  hurried  from  house  to  house 
awakening  the  people  and  apprising  them  of 
the  danger.  The  women  and  children  cried. 
Nearly  all  who  had  teams  started  with  their 
families  for  St.  Peter.  One  man  offered  fifty 
dollars  for  a  team  to  carry  his  family  there. 
The  Mankato  House  was  the  headquarters  of 
the  town,  where  the  latest  and  most  reliable 
news  could  be  found.  Henry  Shaubut,  Wil- 
liam Bierbauer  and  many  others  discredited 
most  of   the   rumors,   and   urged   the  people   to 


keep  cool,  until  the  reports  were  verified.  A 
sort  of  reign  of  terror  prevailed  all  that  night 
and  few  people  slept  at  Mankato,  South  Bend 
or  Garden  City. 

Sunday  morning  a  company  of  thirty-eight 
volunteers  arrived  from  St.  Peter  under  Captain 
WilUam  B.  Dodd.  They  were  joined  by  Daniel 
Tyner  and  two  or  three  others  from  Mankato 
and  by  T.  M.  Pugh  and  others  from  South 
Bend,  and  proceeded  at  once  in  teams  to  re- 
enforce  the  Mankato  company  at  Slocums',  where 
they  arrived  late  that  afternoon.  Two  mounted 
men  were  sent  from  Garden  City  to  Mr.  Slo- 
com's  house  to  learn  the  news.  When  near  the 
house  some  of  the  young  men  fired  their  guns 
and  the  two  scouts  beat  a  hasty  retreat  and  re- 
ported that  the  Indians  had  taken  Slocum's 
house  and  murdered  all  the  settlers.  Most  of 
the  Garden  City  people  removed  to  Mankato 
during  this  Sunday.  On  Monday  the  Mankato 
and  St.  Peter  companies  scoured  the  valley  of 
the  Watonwan  in  quest  of  Indians  but  found 
none.  At  the  mouth  of  Perch  Creek  they  dis- 
covered the  recent  camping  place  of  a  chief 
called  Sintomnidutah.  He  and  his  band  had 
been  in  the  habit  of  camping  here.  They  found 
a  large  log  trough,  into  which  the  Indians  had 
gathered  the  maple  sap  at  their  sugar  making. 
On  it  were  a  pair  of  snow  shoes  pointing  south- 
east, a  small  bundle  of  bones  had  been  tied  to 
a  tree  above  them,  and  in  the  ashes  was  buried 
a  round  stone  painted  red.  The  message  was 
intended  to  read:  "AU-over-Eed  camped  here. 
The  food  being  exhausted,  he  has  gone  south- 
east to  look  for  game." 

The  next  day  a  company  of  thirty  or  forty 
volunteers  from  Traverse  des  Sioux  under 
George  McLeod  as  captain  having  gone  east  of 
Garden  City  came  upon  the  chief  in  a  valley  of 
the  Blue  Earth,  called  "Castle  Garden,"  and 
chased  him  and  his  band  back  across  the  Waton- 
wan. When  the  first  onslaught  was  made  upon 
them  the  Indians  ran  across  a  plowed  field.  So 
hot  was  the  pursuit  that  one  old  squaw  fell  ex- 
hausted, and  a  small,  half  starved  pony,  failing 
to  keep  up  the  pace,  was  abandoned.  The  route 
was,  also,  strewn  with  Indian  household  goods 
and  cooking  utensils,  which  the  panic  stricken 
redmen  had  thrown  away  in  their  flight.     Some 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


of  these  and  the  pony  the  doughty  white  war- 
riors carried  off  as  trophies  of  tlieir  victory. 

In  South  Bend  village  a  palisade  fort  made 
of  plank  and  logs  from  the  saw  mill^  was  con- 
structed around  the  house  of  John  Williams^ 
and  a  volunteer  company  organized  to  guard 
the  town. 

In  the  Judson  neighborhood  a  fort  was  built 
from  the  saw  logs  at  the  McNutt  mill,  just 
across  the  river  from  Judson  village.  A  volun- 
teer company  was  organized,  with  Mr.  Bean  of 
Nicollet  as  captain.  Two  lines  of  pickets  were 
maintained,  one  on  the  high  bluffs  overlooking 
the  river,  and  the  other  near  the  fort.  When 
doing  gTiard  duty  H.  Caywood  saw  a  blanketed 
Indian  skulking  through  the  brush  in  the  dim 
morning  light  and  promptly  put  a  bullet  through 
him.  The  shooting  created  a  panic  of  excite- 
ment in  the  fort  for  they  thought  surely  the 
savages  were  upon  them.  When  the  garrison 
had  plucked  up  enough  courage  to  go  and  look 
for  the  dead  Indian,  they  found  in  the  brush 
Caywood's  old  white  mare  wounded. 

About  six  miles  north  of  the  McNutt  fort  old 
cliief  Eed  Iron  was  camped  with  a  number  of 
his  braves  by  Swan  Lake.  Captain  Bean  led 
his  company  against  these  Indians  to  drive  them 
away.  When  near  the  village.  Gust  Tidland  and 
David  Dackins,  who  could  speak  some  Sioux, 
were  sent  ahead  to  confer  with  the  Indians. 
Eed  Iron  and  his  followers  disclaimed  any 
thought  of  hostility  to  .the  whites,  and  had  no 
knowledge  of  the  Spirit  Lake  murders.  If  their 
presence  was  disturbing  the  white  man  they 
would  depart.  In  a  few  days  they  withdrew 
to  their  reservation  and  the  settlers  breathed 
easier. 

The  settlers,  who  had  located  in  the  present 
tovm  of  Cambria,  also  had  some  exciting  exper- 
ience. The  Indians  who  had  been  attacked  by 
the  Mankato  company  near  Madelia,  passed 
through  this  settlement  on  the  night  of  the  12th 
of  April,  and  pitched  itheir  wigwams  on  the 
Little  Cottonwood,  ^about  two  miles  west  of  the 
Blue  Earth  county  line.  <  On  April  14th  a 
volunteer  company  of  thirty  or  forty  Welsh  and 
German  settlers,  under  the  leadership  of  Eev. 
Peter  S.  Davies,  met  at  the  home  of  Mr.  Lipp 
and    marched    against    them.      Near    the    Indian 


camp  stood  the  log  cabin  of  a  German  bachelor, 
named  J.  Brandt.  There  were  indications  that 
the  house  had  been  plundered,  but  Mr.  Brandt 
could  not  be  found.  Some  of  the  Germans  were 
inclined  to  attack  the  Indians  at  once,  but  cooler 
heads  saw  the  danger  of  such  a  proceeding.  The 
Indians  outnumbered  the  whites  nearly  two  to 
one,  and  were  well  armed  and  good  shots.  Only 
a  few  of  the  whites  had  good  rifles  and  many 
were  only  armed  with  pitchforks,  or  long  poles 
with  scythes  lashed  to  their  top.  John  S. 
Davis,  Samuel  D.  Shaw  and  J.  Fessenmeyer 
vvere  deputated  to  confer  with  the  Indians  and 
learn  their  intention.  The  rest  of  the  company 
lay  concealed  behind  a  long  wood  pile  and  in 
some  brush,  ready  in  case  of  any  emergency. 
As  a  signal  of  danger  the  deputation  were  to 
fire  a  gun.  The  Indians  declared  they  were 
friendly  and  peaceable  and  had  no  sympathy 
with  Inkpadutah  whatever.  While  the  confer- 
ence was  in  progress  Mr.  Fessenmeyer's  gun 
-srent  off  accidentally,  and  immediately  from  be- 
hind the  wood  pile  and  brush  leaped  about  forty 
pale  faces  and,  with  demoniac  yells,  came  rush- 
ing down  upon  the  Indian  village,  brandishing 
their  guns,  pitchforks  and  scythe-tipped  poles. 
The  surprised  savages,  bucks,  sqiiaws  and  pa- 
pooses, lit  out  for  the  tall  timber  as  fast  as  their 
moccasined  feet  could  carry  them.  It  took  the 
most  prompt  and  energetic  action  on  the  part 
of  the  three  deputies  to  stop  the  mad  charge 
and  restore  order.  The  Indians  assured  the 
v/hites  of  their  friendship  and  finally  agreed  to 
depart  for  their  agency. 

Two  days  later  the  body  of  Mr.  Brandt  was 
found  in  the  brush  back  of  his  cabin,  with  two 
bullet  holes  in  his  head,  evidently  having  been 
murdered  by  the  Indians,  who  had  an  old  grudge 
against  him.  It  was  fortunate  the  murder  was 
not  discovered  when  the  whites  met  the  Indians, 
else  more  serious  consequences  would  have  re- 
sulted. 

After  ^pending  three  or  four  days  on  the 
Watonwan  the  volunteer-  companies  from  Man- 
kato, St.  Peter  and  Traverse  returned  home. 
The  next  day  after  the  Mankato  company  reach- 
ed home  (April  18th),  a  young  man  brought 
v;ord  to  the  county  seat  that  Sintomnidutah's 
band    had    again    appeared    near    Madelia,    and 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


89 


had  killed  a  cow  and  committed  other  depreda- 
tions,  and  asking  immediate  aid.  It  may  be 
All-Over-Eed  did  not  appreciate  the  fun  of  be- 
ing chased  by  the  paleface  and  the  loss  of  his 
pony  and  household  goods,  or  perhaps  he  had 
not  had  any  meat  to  eat  since  he  picked  those 
few  bones  he  hung  on  a  tree  at  the  mouth  of 
Perch  Creek,  and  was  hungry.  The  Mankato 
company  was  just  getting  ready  to  return  to 
the  Watonwan  and  give  the  old  chief  another 
chase,  when  they  heard  the  blast  of  a  bugle 
north  of  town  and  saw  a  long  file  of  soldiers 
approaching  on  the  St.  Peter  road.  \\'ith  their 
bright  uniforms,  their  guns  glistening  in  the  sun, 
and  a  large  flag  leading  the  column,  they  pre- 
sented a  fine  appearance.  They  proved  to  be  the 
long  looked  for  regulars  from  Fort  Snelling, 
who  had  been  sent  for  the  week  before.  The)- 
were  in  command  of  a  Col.  Smith,  a  very  de- 
liberate and  crusty  old  soldier.  It  had  taken 
him  five  or  six  days  to  reach  ilankato  from 
Fort  Snelling,  and  Avhen  Dr.  Lewis  went  to 
tell  him  of  the  recent  call  for  help  from  the 
Watonwan  settlers,  he  gruffly  told  him  to  put 
the  request  in  writing.  After  camping  in  front 
of  the  Leach  building  until  the  following  Mon- 
day, the  colonel  led  his  force  of  160  men  to  the 
relief  of  the  Watonwan  settlers,  but  he  found 
no  Indians.  Perhaps  they  got  tired  of  waiting 
for  him.  The  military  tactics  of  that  day  were 
too  dilatory  and  cumbersome  for  Indian  fight- 
ing. All-Over-Eed  would  have  starved  to  death 
if  he  had  stayed  in  the  same  place,  until  the 
palefaces   got   ready   to   fight  him. 

When  the  excitement  was  at  its  height  it  was 
reported  at  Faribault,  Shakopee,  St.  Paul  and 
other  towns  that  Mankato  and  St.  Peter  had 
been  captured,  and  burned  by  a  horde  of 
Yankton  and  Sisseton  Sioux,  nine  hundred 
strong,  and  that  the  savages  were  sweeping 
down  the  valley,  killing  and  burning  every- 
thing before  them.  At  Faribault  General 
Jamoe  Shields  raised  a  ^'olunteer  army  to  go  to 
the  rescue,  but  dispatched  a  friendly  Indian 
rimner  to  verify  the  report,  while  he  was  getting 
ready.  The  Indian  returned  next  day  with 
dispatches  contradicting  the  rumor.  At  St. 
Paul  much  excitement  prevailed.  A  volunteer 
company    was    organized,    guards    stationed    and 


fortifications  made  ready  to  repel  the  expected 
attack. 

In  a  few  days  it  was  evident  that  there  was 
no  real  ground  for  such  a  scare.  Xone  of  the 
'Indians  showed  any  hostile  intention,  other  than 
Inkpadutah  and  his  few  followers.  These  mur- 
derers fled  to  the  Sioux  river,  in  South  Dakota, 
and  no  effort  was  ever  made  by  the  military  to 
pursue  or  punish  them.  The  whites  seemed 
perfectly  impotent  in  any  effort  to  apprehend 
an  Indian  on  the  plains.  The  red  devils  soon 
killed  in  a  brutal  manner  two  of  their  women 
captives,  Mrs.  Thacher  and  ilrs.  Xoble.  The 
other  two.  Miss  Gardner  and  ilrs.  ^larble,  were 
ransomed  by  some  -  Christian  Indians,  who  had 
been  sent  for  the  purpose  from  the  mission  sta- 
tion of  Drs.  Eiggs  and  Williamson,  and  restored 
to  their  friends.  The  government  tried  to  com- 
pel the  other  Indians  to  capture  Inkpadutah  and 
his  band,  by  refusing  to  pay  them  their  annuities 
until  they  delivered  up  these  murderers.  It 
was  a  foolish  and  unjust  move,  which  only  re- 
sulted in  mischief.  Little  Crow  and  a  number 
of  other  Indians  finally  undertook  the  task  and, 
after  an  absence  of  some  days,  returned  with  a 
fishy  story,  how  they  had  come  upon  the  bad 
Indians  by  a  certain  lake  and,  after  a  hard 
fight,  had  killed  a  number  of  them.  Though 
Vv'hoUy  preposterous  in  every  detail,  the  sti  n-y 
got  the  Indians  their  rations.  During  the  sum- 
mer a  son  of  Inkpadutah  ventured  to  visit  the 
Indians  at  the  agency.  His  presence  was  re- 
■vealed  to  the  military  and  he  was  killed,  when 
attempting  to  get  away.  No  other  member  of 
Inkpadutah's  cut-throat  gang  is  known  to  ha\e 
received  punishment.  The  people  .soon  returned 
to  their  homes  and  various  avocations  and,  be- 
fore long,  the  Indians  mingled  witli  the  settlers 
as  before,  and  the  late  unpleasantness  was  prac- 
tically forgotten.  Militia  companies,  however, 
were  formed  during  the  summer  at  Garden  City, 
and  on  the  Watonwan  near  Madelia;  and  guns 
and  accoutrements  were  furnished  J:hem  from  the 
territorial  armory.  At  Garden  City  an  armory 
hall  was  constructed  for  the  use  of  the  company. 

Between  the  Indian  scare,  the  unprecedented 
cold,  backward  season,  and  the  money  panic, 
the  year  1857  was  quite  unfavorable  to  much 
immigration  or  material  prosperity   of  any   sort. 


90 


HISTOKY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


Blue  Earth  coimty,  however,  seems  to  have  re- 
ceived quite  an  addition  to  its  population  and 
to  have  made  substantial  progress,  in  spite  of 
the  untoward  conditions.  The  Minnesota  was 
high  and  the  traffic  on  the  river  was  very  brisk 
all  summer.  Boats  were  arriving  almost  daily 
at  the  Mankato  and  South  Bend  wharfs.  Some- 
times as  many  as  four  boats  arrived  at  the  for- 
mer place  in  one  day.  During  the  season  there 
were  293  boat  arrivals  at  St.  Paul  from  the 
Minnesota.  The  year  before  there  had  been  316 
arrivals.  The  boats  who  paid  Mankato  the  most 
frequent  visits  in  1857  were:  The  "Jennette 
Eoberts/'  "Isaac  Shelby,  Medora,"  "Prank  Steel" 
and  "Time  and  Tide,"  all  good  sized  boats.  At 
Mankato  the  big  three  story  stone  business  block, 
begun  by  General  Leach  the  previous  fall  was 
completed.  A  similar  stone  block  was  erected 
this  same  year  by  White  and  Marks.  These  two 
fine  buildings  were  for  many  years  the  most 
imposing  structures  at  the  county  seat.  About 
the  middle  of  May  a  Mankato  resident  found 
sixty-three  new  buildings  then  in  process  of  erec- 
tion. By  the  first  of  November  there  were  in 
Mankato  by  actual  count  90  business  houses,  in- 
cluding stores,  shops  and  offices.  A  good  steam 
saw  mill  had  been  started  here  the  year  before 
by  George  W.  Lay,  and  this  year  saw  the  erec- 
tion of  the  much  larger  steam  mill  of  A.  D. 
Seward,  Josiah  Keene  and  A.  N.  Dukes,  co- 
partners as  A.  D.  Seward  and  Co.  It  had  a 
forty  horse  power  engine,  two  upright  saws  and 
a  lath  and  shingle  mill  attached. 

On  the  13th  of  June,  1857,  was  issued  the 
first  number  of  the  "Mankato  Independent,"  the 
first  newspaper  in  Blue  Earth  County.  The 
proprietors,  Clinton  B.  Hensley  and  Prank  W. 
Gunning,  brought  their  printing  outfit  with 
them  from  Kokomo,  Indiana,  and  as  an  induce- 
ment $800.00  of  printing  was  subscribed  and 
paid  for  in  advance  by  Mankato  business  men. 
Mr.  Hensley  was  an  able  writer  and  his  paper 
was  a  valuable  acquisition  to  the  county.  The 
printing  office  was  located  first  in  a  small  frame 
building,  erected  for  the  purpose,  on  the  corner 
of  Walnut  and  Third  streets.  This  location 
soon  proved  unsatisfactory  and,  on  Oct.  1st,  the 
paper  was  moved  to  the  upstairs  of  a  new  store 
building,  just  completed  by  Messrs.  Hubbell  and 


Tinkcom,    where    the    Patterson    Wholesale    Gro- 
cery now  stands. 

By  August  1st,  1857,  there  were  tliree  stage 
lines  carrying  mail  and  passefigers  centered  at 
Mankato;  a  daily  line  to  St.  Paul  starting  at 
South  Bend,  on  which  the  fare  was  $7.00;  a 
tri-weekly  line  passing  through  South  Bend, 
Garden  City,  Vernon  and  Shelbyville  to  Blue 
Earth  City,  on  which  the  fare  was  $4.00;  and 
a  tri-weekly  line  passing  through  Tivoli  and 
Winnebago  Agency  and  thence  to  Owatonna,  on 
which  the  fare  was  $5.00.  On  July  38th,  1857, 
the  County  Commissioners  let  the  contract  for 
the  erection  of  a  county  building  on  the  court 
house  block  to  Prancis  Bunker  and  Isaac  N. 
Britton  for  $1,500.00.  It  was  to  be  30x34  feet 
and  constructed  of  stone  with  a  fireproof  stone 
vault  6x7  feet  in  the  rear.  At  the  same  time  a 
contract  for  building  a  board  fence  around'  the 
block  was  let  to  the  same  persons  for  $335.00. 

The  townsite  of  LeHillier  was  surveyed  and 
platted  in  1857  by  Noah  Armstrong,  William  J. 
McCaulay,  John  J).  McCaulay,  Chas.  A.  Chap- 
man, Ann  M.  E.  DeWitt,  Eobert  C.  Nichols, 
John  Wilson,  Sidney  B.  Hawley,  William  J. 
Sturgis,  Isaac  Day  and  George  W.  Nelson,  and 
a  two  story  stone  building  was  erected  by 
George  M.  Keenan  in  which  he  opened  a  hotel. 
This  ancient  land  mark  still  stands  a  little  be- 
yond the  west  end  of  the  Blue  Earth  bridge. 

Adjoining  this  up  the  Blue  Earth  another 
townsite  was  platted  by  Thos.  Eiley  and  Fred 
E.  Eoelofson  in  September,  1857,  called  West 
Le  Hillier.  In  June  of  the  same  year  West 
Mankato  was  laid  out  by  a  large  number  of 
proprietors,  most  of  whom  were  non-residents. 
The  company  built  a  saw  mill  on  the  Blue 
Earth. 

South  Bend,  also  was  in  a  most  flourishing 
condition.  Some  twenty  or  thirty  buildings 
were  constructed  this  year.  Among  these  was 
a  large  frame  hotel,  built  by  Matthew  Thomp- 
son. The  formal  opening  of  this  hostelry  was 
duly  celebrated  by  a  grand  ball,  held  on  Decem- 
ber 31,  1857.  S.  Abbott  &  Co.,  were  its  first 
proprietors. 

A  second  saw  mill  was  started  in  South  Bend 
this  year  owned  by  Eev.  Eich  Davis  and  John 
Williams.      The    other    mill    owned    by    D.    C. 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


91 


Evans  and  W.  E.  Price,  had  added  a  run  of 
stone  for  grinding  corn,  which,  furnished  the 
settlers  of  the  vicinity  their  material  for  johnny 
cake  and  hasty  pudding.  About  June  1st,  1857, 
Daniel  Buck,  then  a  young  man  fresh  from  the 
hills  of  Center  New  York,  arrived  at  South 
Bend  and  opened  a  law  office.  On  the  4th  of 
June  the  village  held  a  big  celebration  in  honor 
of  the  beginning  of  the  survey  for  the  St.  Paul, 
Minneapolis  and  Big  Sioux  Eailroad.  The  first 
stake  was  set  with  due  ceremony  by  Judge  J. 
Brayton  of  Ohio  in  the  presence  of  a  great 
crowd  of  people.  J.  B.  Pish  was  at  the  head 
of  the  corps  of  engiaeers,  who  had  charge  of 
the  survey.  After  placing  the  stake  the  crowd 
repaired  to  the  banking  room  of  W.  J.  McCau- 
ley.  Paul  P.  Eckstrom,  the  foremost  mer- 
chant of  the  village,  presided  and  speeches  were 
made  by  Messers.  Bangs,  Eodgers,  Pish,  Buck, 
Ben.  McGiven,  and  J.  T..  Williams.  The  volun- 
teer company,  a  relic  of  the  recent  Inkpadutah 
war,  marched  through  the  streets  and  fired 
salutes,  and  the  festivities  closed  with  a  big 
oyster  supper  at  Norcott's  Hotel,  the  three  story 
log  building,  which  D.  C.  Evans  had  built. 
This  survey  was  on  the  line'  that  was  after- 
wards called  the  St.  Paul  and  Sioux  City  Eail- 
way. 

So  full  of  promise  was  South  Bend  at  this 
time  that  Mr.  Eckstrom  platted  a  large  addi- 
tion thereto,  which  was  called  after  his  name. 
In  South  Bend  township  a  frame  church  was 
constructed  about  a  mile  west  of  Minneopa 
Palls,  by  the  "Zion"  Cal.  Meth.  society  of  that 
locality.  Judson  village  was  also  flourshing. 
It  Had  a  large  saw  mill  on  each  side  of  the 
river.  Cephas  S.  Terry  and  Thos.  E.  Coulson 
had  good  sized  stores,  and  there  were  a  number 
of  shops  and  residences  built  there  this  year. 
John  A.  Tidland  in  July  platted  a  large  addi- 
tion to  this  townsite. 

In  June  of  this  year  a  new  townsite  was 
laid  out  on  the  farm  of  Hiram  Yates,  a  Uttle 
south  of  Crystal  Lake.  The  proprietors  were 
John  A.  Willard,  E.  J.  Sibley,  Hiram  Yates 
and  Elias  D.  Bruner.  It  was  called  "Crystal 
Lake  City."  Though  a  number  of  persons  with 
push  and  capital  were  interested,  it  failed  to 
materialize    into    anything    more    than    a    paper 


city.  At  Garden  City  two  saw  mills  were  com- 
pleted this  year,  one  by  Messrs.  Dilly,  Warren 
and  Capwell,  and  the  other  by  S.  il.  Folsom, 
E.  P.  Evans  and  M.  B.  Boynton.  The  latter 
mill  was  provided  with  one  run  of  stones  for 
flour,  and  had  a  corn  sheUer,  corn  mill,  and 
shingle  mill  attached.  A  large  hotel  was  also 
erected  here  during  the  summer  by  Messrs. 
Folsom  and  Evans,  and  the  general  store  of 
Harrington  &  Cheney  had  been  supplemented 
by  one  or  two  others. 

Further  up  the  Watonwan,  by  Hoxsie  & 
Conklin's  mill,  David  P.  Hunt,  Neri  T.  Hox- 
sie and  J.  W.  Greenwood,  in  August,  1857, 
laid  out  a  town  called,  ''^Vatonwan,"  which 
made  the  third  city  platted  in  Garden  City 
Township.  Like  Crystal  Lake,  it  did  not  suc- 
ceed, and  in  February  1863  the  plat  was 
vacated.  A  post  office  was  established  here  this 
year  with  J.  H.  Greenwood  as  postmaster.  The 
Mill  soon  passed  into  the  hands  of  Warren, 
Greenwood  and  Shaubut,  who,  in  1861,  sold  it 
to  Butterfield  &  Wampler.  Chas.  P.  Butter- 
field  soon,  however,  became  sole  proprietor  and 
his  efficient  management  made  the  mill  quite 
famous  in  that  part  of  the  county  for  many 
years.  Between  the  mill,  post  ofliice,  church  and 
school  house  the  place  continued  a  local  center 
until  the  present  day. 

On  July  8th,  1857  two  new  Election  pre- 
cincts were  created  in  the  county,  one  desig- 
nated "Ceresco,"  after  a  town  of  that  name  in 
Wisconsin,  whence  the  Porters  and  some  others  of 
the  inhabitants  had  come,  and  the  other  "Vernon," 
after  Mount  Vernon,  Ohio,  the  old  home  of 
Col.  B.  P.  Smith,  B.  McCracken  and  others  of 
its  settlers.  Ceresco  precinct  comprised  the 
present  townships  of  Ceresco  and  Lincoln,  and 
its  first  officers  were:  Sheldon  P.  Barney,  Isaac 
Slocum  and  Benjamin  Pease,  and  the  first  elec- 
tion was  appointed  to  be  held  at  the  house  of 
William  Wells.  Vernon  precinct  embraced  the 
present  township  of  that  name  and  its  first 
officers  were :  Judges  of  Election,  Horton  W. 
Nelson,  C.  C.  Mack  and  T.  B.  Northrup,  Jus- 
tice of  the  Peace,  Benj.  McCracken,  at  whose 
house  the  first  election  was  appointed  to  be 
held.  Two  rival  townsites  were  started  this 
year   in   A'ernon  precinct.     One  was  located   on 


92 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


the  Blue  Earth  in  sections  thirty-three  and 
twenty-eight  and  ealled  "Montevideo.''  It  was 
never  platted,  as  a  misunderstanding  between 
the  proprietors,  Jonathan  Leavit,  Horton  W. 
Nelson  and  George  W.  Nelson,  soon  arose,  which 
lead  to  litigation  and  an  abandonment  of  the 
project  within  a  year.  Jonathan  and  Caleb 
Leavitt  and  Jacob  Taylor  built  a  sawmill  there, 
which  they  operated  for  a  year  and  then 
removed  it  to  Madelia,  and  Horton  W.  Nelson 
started  to  build  a  hotel.  In  those  days  a  mill 
and  a  hotel  were  deemed  indispensible  for  the 
proper  iDCginning  of  any  city. 

The  other  townsite  was  started  further  down 
the  river  on  section  26  by  the  "Blue  Earth 
Company."  This  organization  was  formed  at 
Mt.  Vernon,  Ohio,  with  Col.  B.  F.  Smith  and 
Benj.  McCracken  as  its  principal  promoters. 
In  June  1857  they  had  their  townsite  sur- 
veyed and  platted  by  il.  B.  Haynes.  A  saw- 
mill was  erected,  which  was  operated  for  some 
years  by  Messrs.  Smith  and  Haynes.  Another 
mill  was  built  ten  years  later  by  Eeed  &  Mason, 
and  a  feed  mill  started  by  G.  W.  Doty.  A  post 
office  was  established  with  J.  P.  Dooley  as 
postmaster  and  a  store  opened  about  1858.  Col. 
Smith    also    built    a   hotel   there   the   same   year. 

At  Shelbyville  there  was  considerable  activ- 
ity. A  large  saw  mill  was  erected  there  in 
1857,  by  Henry  Stokes  and  J.  J.  Porter,  and 
a  portable  saw  mill  put  up  about  a  mile  from 
the  village  by  John  Swearingen.  A  large  hotel 
was  built  by  Tilton  0.  Allen  and  two  stores, 
two  blacksmith  shops,  a  cabinet  shop,  and  an 
M.  E.  Church  and  several  houses  were  also 
constructed. 

On  section  five  of  Shelby  another  town  was 
started  by  S.  M.  Polsom  and  others,  but 
nothing  came  of  it.  The .  plat  of  Mapleton 
townsite,  which  had  been  surveyed  the  previous 
July  on  the  line  between  the  present  townships 
of  Sterling  and  Mapleton,  was  not  made  until 
January,  1857.  It  was  signed  by  James  Cor- 
nell, Eobert  Taylor  and  John  Maund.  No 
improvements  were  ever  made  on  this  land  to 
give  it  an  urban  appearance,  and  it  soon  was 
jumped  for  claims.  Eobert  Taylor,  however,  in 
1857,  had  a  store,  post  office  and  hotel  in  his 
log  house  on  the  Maple.     A  little  further  down 


the  river  a  blacksmith  shop  was  started,  and  on 
the  same  stream  Stephen  and  Elijah  Middle- 
brook  operated  a  portable  saw  mill. 

Between  Lake  Wita  and  Lake  Washington  on 
section  20,  in  the  present  town  of  Jamestown, 
a  saw  mill  was  started  by  A.  F.  Howes,  which 
during  1857  was  quite  active.  It  stood  in  the 
midst  of  one  of  the  finest  black  walnut  groves 
in  the  country,  which  stretched  from  the  north 
end   of   Eagle   Lake  to   the   county   line. 

Another  saw  mill  was  started  in  the  north- 
west corner  of  the  county,  on  the  Little  Cotton- 
wood, by  David  P.  Davis.  Most  of  these  mills 
had  one  run  of  stones  attached  for  grinding 
corn.  The  milling  industry,  which  had  such 
a  fair  start  in  1857,  was  destined  to  grow  and 
for  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  century  was  the 
chief  manufacturing  industry  of  the  county. 
Both  steam  and  watet  power  were  used  and, 
during  the  time  stated,  they  furnished  most 
of  the  lumber  and  flour  used  by  the  people. 
The  great  number  of  townsites  started  this  year 
marks  the  climax  of  this  craze  in  our  county. 
On  the  first  of  June  1857,  was  held  the  elec- 
tion of  delegates  to  the  constitutional  conven- 
tion preparatory  to  the  admission  of  Minnesota 
as  a  State.  Dr.  W.  E.  McMahan  was  the  repre- 
sentative elected  from  Blue  Earth  County.  On 
October  13th  occurred  the  election  of  State  and 
County  officers,  when  Blue  Earth  cast  1,131 
votes.  Of  these  H.  H.  Sibley  the  Democratic 
nominee  received  594  and  Alexander  Eamsey, 
the  Republican  nominee  537.  Mankato  and 
Eice  Lake  were,  however,  the  only  two  pre- 
cincts that  gave  Democratic  majorities,  the 
other  eight  precincts  were  Eepublican.  J.  T. 
Williams  was  elected  Clerk  of  Court,  being  the 
only  successful  Eepublican  on  the  County  tick- 
et. E.  D.  Bruner  was  chosen  Probate  Judge, 
Stephen  Lamm,  Treasurer;  Daniel  T.  Bunker, 
Sheriff;  and  W.  S.  Sargent,  Register  of  Deeds. 
The  year  1857  notes  the  first  appearance  in 
Blue  Earth  County  of  the  grasshopper  scourge, 
vfhich  in  after  years  worked  such  disastrous 
havoc.  At  this  early  date,  however,  there  was 
not  ijiuch  to  destroy  except  a  few  gardens,  and 
the  pest  soon  disappeared.  But  the  pioneers  of  that 
day  had  other  pests  _  to  contend  with,  the  striped 
gopher,    the    pocket    gopher    and    the    blackbird 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COrXTY.  93 

were  then   a  plague   in   the   land.     The   myriad  the  skj'  black  with  their  aerial  maneuvers.    Corn 

sloughs,   with   their   tall   reeds   and   grasses,   had  and    potatoes    -svere    the    principal    crops    of    the 

been    ideal    nesting    places    for    blackbirds    for  early  settlers,  and  it  was  against  tlicse  that  the 

countless   ages    and    during   the   spring   and   fall  devastations    of    these   pests    were    directed,    both 

the  groves  were  musical   with   their   voices,   and  at  the  planting  and  harvesting. 


CHAPTER  XL 

EVENTS    OF    1858— THE    FIVE    MILLION 
LOAN    BILL— DIVISION    OP    COUNTY 
INTO    TOWNSHIPS. 


At  the  first  meeting  of  the  County  Commis- 
sioners for  1858  held  on  the  4th  of  January 
there  was  a  change  in  personnel  of  the  board  and, 
also,  in  its  policy  on  the  liquor  question.  Norman 
L.  Jackson  of  Shelby  had  been  elected  to  suc- 
ceed E.  Patterson,  and  Elijah  K.  Bangs  of 
South  Bend  was  chosen  to  fill  the  place  of  Matt- 
hew Thompson,  resigned.  This  left  Theron 
Parsons  as  the  only  member  of  the  old  board 
still  in  service.  Heretofore  the  board  had  refus- 
ed to  grant  liquor  licenses  and  Mr.  Parsons  was 
a  strong  teetotaler.  At  the  meeting  of  January 
6th  a  majority  of  the  board  voted  to  grant 
liquor  licenses,  and  Mr.  Parsons  at  once  handed 
in  his  resignation  in  writing,  giving  as  reason 
for  his  action,  the  determination  of  the  major- 
ity of  the  board  tO'  issue  such  licenses,  and  asked 
that  the  same  be  inserted  in  the  minutes  where 
they  stand  to  this  day.  On  January  8th  Sam- 
uel M.  Walker  was  elected  to  fill  the  vacancy 
thus  caused. 

The  winter  of  1857-8  was  remarkably  mild 
and  open,  which  was  greatly  appreciated  after 
the  extreme  rigor  of  the  three  former  winters. 
On  the  23nd  of  January  it  was  so  warm,  that 
the  editor  of  the  Mankato  Independent  sat  in 
his  office  writing  all  day  without  a  fire  and  with- 
out a  coat  or  vest.  The  rivers  broke  up  for 
a  time  and  on  January  25th  the  ferry  across 
the  Minnesota  at  Mankato  was  carried  away  by  the 
freshet.  The  first  steamer  did  not  arrive  at  Man- 
kato until  the  22nd  of  March,  but  that  was  the 
earliest  date  a  boat  was  ever  known  to  ascend  the 
Minnesota  before  or  after.  It  was  the  Medora, 
with   Capt.    Chas.   T.   Hinde  in  command.     The 


sound  of  her  whistle  was  heard  miles  down  the 
river,  and  the  entire  population  of  Mankato, 
men,  women  and  children,  were  ready  at  the 
wharf  to  greet  her  with  cheer  upon  cheer.  In 
a  few  hours  she  was  followed  by  the  second 
boat,  the  Jennette  Eoberts.  On  March  20th, 
1858  South  Bend  village  was  incorporated  with 
William  E.  Price  as  President,  Paul  Eckstrom 
as  Clerk  and  C.  Wliitford,  Dr.  Havens  and 
Joshua  Barnard  as  trustees.  The  same  month 
the  Legislature  passed  a  bill  to  incorporate  Man- 
kato as  a  village,  but  because  of  the  absence  of 
the  Governor,  it  failed  to  receive  his  signature  in 
time. 

Up  to  this  time  no  railroad  had  been  built 
in  the  State,  and  the  people  were  ready  to  do 
most  anything  to  secure  this  necessity  of  mod- 
ern civilization.  Early  in  March  a  bill  was 
passed  by  the  Legislature  authorizing  the  Gov- 
ernor to  issue  bonds,  in  an  amount  not  to  exceed 
$5,000,000.00,  to  aid  in  the  construction  of  rail- 
roads. The  bill,  however,  provided  that  the  mat- 
ter be  submitted  to  a  vote  of  the  people  before 
it  became  effective.  The  Mankato  Independent 
denounced  the  measure  as  a  fraud  from  the  start, 
and  waged  a  bitter  war  against  its  adoption  up 
to  the  special  election,  held  April  15th,  1858. 
As  a  result  Blue  Earth  County  cast  a  major- 
ity of  nearly  200  votes  against  the  bill  and  was 
the  only  county  in  the  State  to  give  an  adverse 
majority.  The  wisdom  of  this  action  became 
fully  apparent  shortly  afterwards. 

A  number  of  prominent  lawyers  began  to  lo- 
cate at  Mankato  in  the  winter  of  1857-8,  among 
whom   were   Willard   and   Barney,    Cramer   Burt 


95 


96 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


and  M.  S.  Willcinson.  On  March  14th,  1858,  a 
irumber  of  German  citizens  formed  a  company 
of  state  militia  at  Ulman'a  Hall  in  Mankato. 
Joseph  Guenther  was  elected  captain  and  served 
about  six  months,  when  Matthias  Ulman'  suc- 
ceeded him  in  command.  A  Turners'  Associa- 
tion was  also  organized  by  the  Germans  of  that 
town  about  the  same  time  with  the  following 
officers:  President,  Wm.  Bierbauer;  Vice-presi- 
dent, Jacob  PfafE;  First  Secretary,  Chas.  L. 
Marks;  Second  Secretary,  Henry  Hartmann; 
Treasurer,    M.    H.    Bergholtz;    Turnwart,    John 

C.  Haupt;  Tengwart,  C'has.  Heilborn;  Librarian, 
Joseph  Leibrack.  This  society  flourished  for 
many  years  and  was  the  first  and  only  one  of 
the  kind  formed  in  the   county. 

Wliile  a  number  -  of  school  districts  had  been 
formed  over  the  county  very  few  of  them  had 
begun  actual  work  for  want  of  funds,  but  taxes 
now  began  to  come  in.  Log  schools  hoiises  had 
been  erected  in  most  of  the  settlements  and  the 
people  were  anxious  to  begin  educational  work. 
On  January  28th,  1858,  the  County  Commis- 
sioners apportioned  the  school  money  as  follows : 

Name   of  District.  Xo.  No.   Scholars.  Amt. 

Shelbyville      ..". 11  62  $63.55 

Butternut   Valley    (No.    10) .  . .  .  7  28  28.70 

J.    J.    Lewis    (Sterling) 14  21  21. .53 

Judson       ■ 4  50  51.25 

Watonwan    City 15  16  16.40 

Garden    City     .' 10  58  59.45 

South    Benci 3  75  76.87 

Campbells    (Lime)    ■. 8  49  50.22 

Mill    Creek    (Minneopa) 16.  46  47. 15 

Mapleton    (Sterling)     5  55  56.37 

Mankato      1          870  276.75 

D.  P.   Davis    (No.    11    Cambria)  6  27  27.67 

Total     - 757  $775.81 

None  of  the  schools  received  the  money  thus 
apportioned  to  then}  for  all  of  it,  that  was  col- 
lected, was  appropriated  by  F.  Bunker,  the 
Sheriff,  and  his  bondsnien  finally  settled  with  the 
County  Board  by  paying  the  same  in  county 
orders,  which  were  not  worth  over  fifty  cents 
on   the    dollar. 

On  the  same  day  (January  38),  the  board 
redistricted  the  whole  county  (outside  the  re- 
servation), beginning  at  its  northeast  corner  and 
numbering  them  in  each  township  conseciitively 
westward  to  west  line  of  county,  thence  south- 
ward to  its   south  line,  and  thence   east  to  the 


east  line  of  Danville,  making  in  all  sixty-one 
school  districts. 

In  accordance  with  an  act  of  the  Legislature 
just  passed  requiring  counties  to  be  divided  into 
towns  instead  of  election  precincts,  the  Board  of 
County  Commissioners  on  April  6th,  1858,  pro- 
ceeded to  do  this  with  all  the  territory  outside 
the  Winnebago  reservation.  The  name  of  each 
election  precinct  was  applied  to  the  towns  in 
every  case,  but  as  there  were  more  townships  of 
land  than  election  precincts  a  few  new  names 
were  required.  The  names  given  were  as  fol- 
lows: 

Lime — Boundaries    same    as    at    present. 

Jamestown — Included  Jamestown  and  LeRay  ex- 
cept south  tier  of  sections. 

Mankato — Same  as  at  present  except  south  tier  of 
sections. 

South    Bend — Same,    except    south    tier    sections. 

Judson^Same   as   at  present. 

Butternut  Vallev — Included  Cambria  and  Butternut 
Valley. 

Ttitchfleld — Same    as   Lincoln. 

Watonwan — Same   as   Garden  City. 

Montevideo — Same    as    Vernon. 

Ceresco — Same    as    at    present. 

Otsego — Same   as   Pleasant  Mound. 

Liberty — Same    as    Shelby. 

Mapleton — Same   as    Sterling. 

Sherman — Same    as    Mapleton. 

Jackson — Same   as   Danville. 

At  this  meeting  a  petition  was  presented,  sign- 
ed by  eighty-two  residents  of  South  Bend,  re- 
questing the  range  line  between  36  and  27  to 
be  fixed  as  the  east  line  of  their  town,  instead 
of  the  Blue  Earth  River.  This  was  opposed  by 
Mankato  and  by  most  of  the  residents  of  the 
disputed  territory.  The  board  finally  by  a  vote 
of  two  to  one  fixed  the  center  of  the  Blue  Earth 
and  Le  Sueur  Rivers  as  the  east  boundary  of 
South  Bend. 

Some  of  the  names  given  to  the  towns  were 
not  satisfactory  and  on  April  16th,  1858,  the 
Commissioners  concluded  to  divide  the  whole 
county  including  the  Winnebago  Agency  into 
towns  and  rename  them  all;  The  only  change 
in  the  list  above  given  was  that  the  name  of 
Ritchfield  was  changed  to  Fox  Lake.  It  was 
intended  that  the  name  Fox  Lalce  should  be  ap- 
plied in  town  106  range  39,  as  it  was  selected  by 
John  and  Miles  Porter,  who  lived  there,  after 
their  old  home  in  Wisconsin,  while  Ceresco  was 
tc  be  applied  to  to-mi  107,  where  Isaac  Slocum 
resided  and  was  the  name  he  had  chosen  after 
the    Wisconsin   town    he    had    come   from.     But 


DANIEL    A.    DICKINSON. 


LEWIS    C.    BRANSON. 


MARTIN    J.    SEVERANCE. 


ERANKLIN    H.    WAITE. 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


the  Commissioners,  through  some  blunder,  got 
the  names  transposed  and  they  were  never  cor- 
rected. Another  change  in  the' list  was  that  the 
name  "Vernon"  was  substituted  for  "Monte- 
video." These  were  two  names  of  rival  town- 
sites  in  the  same  township,  ^  and  the  proprietors 
oC  each  were  anxious  to  have  the  name  of  their 
respective  city  applied  to  the  town,  and  Vernon 
won.  The  names  added  to  the  list  were  for  the 
townships  embraced  in  the  Indian  Agency  and 
were   as   follows : 

De   Soto — Now   Rapidan. 
Decoria — Same   as   at   present. 
Rice  Lake — Now   McPherson. 
Medo — Same  as  at  present. 
Winneshiek — Now    Beauford. 
Tecumseh — Now  Lyra. 

On  the  same  day  Lime  was  set  o££  from  Man- 
kato  as  an  independent  town.  Fox  Lake  was 
attached  to  Ceresco,  Otsego  to  Liberty,  and  later 
Jackson  was  attached  to  Mapleton,  and  Eice 
Lake  to  Mankato  for  administrative  purposes. 

The  people  were  still  agitating  the  removal  of 
the  Winnebagoes,  and  in  February  a  joint  re- 
solution to  that  effect  was  passed  by  both  houses 
of  the  Minnesota  Legislature  and  sent  to  Con- 
gress. 

In  April  of  this  year  (1858),  Moses  0.  Ben- 
nett laid  out  a  townsite  close  to  his  mill,  near 
the  center  of  the  east  half  of  section  25  of 
Mankato  Township,  which  he  called  Tivoli.  A 
Congregational  church  was  organized  through 
the  efforts  of  Mr.  Bennett  with  about  thirty 
members,  and  a  good  church  building  erected 
upon  a  "fine  plat  of  ground  specially  dedicated 
for  the  purpose,  and  which  is  now  used  for  the 
school  house  site.  The  church  was  organized 
in  winter  1857-8  by  Eev.  M.  N.  Adams.  Eev. 
E.  A.  Bumham,  the  father  of  Capt.  Fred  Burn- 
ham  the  noted  English  scout  of  South  Africa, 
used  to  preach  at  this  church  and  at  a  church 
in  Alma  City  for  a  number  of  years,  and  work- 
ed at  the  same  time  for  Mr.  Bennett  at  the 
mill.  He  was  a  young  man  then,  and  it  was 
while  living  at  Tivoli  that  he  went  down  to 
Sterling  and  was  married  on  July  3d,  1860, 
by  Eev.  J.  E.  Conrad  to  Eebecca,  daughter  of 
William  Eussell  of  that  town;  and  it  was  at  a 
log   cabin   belonging   to   Mr.    Bennett,    that   Mr. 


and  Mrs.  Burnham  were  living  when  their  fam- 
ous son  was  bom. 

On  April  15th,  1858,  the  village,  or  rather 
"Town  of  Mankato"  as  it  was  designated,  held 
its  first  charter  election,  in  spite  of  the  fact 
that  the  governor  had  not  yet  signed  the  bill  of 
Incorporation.  The  following  officers  were  elec- 
ted: President,  Alpheus  F.  Hawley,;  Eecorder, 
David  Lamm,  Trustees,  S.  Hylan,  Wm.  Bier- 
bauer  and  Isaac  Marks.  The  bill  was  after- 
wards approved  by  the  Governor  on  June  11th, 
1858. 

It  seems  after  the  court  house  square  had  been 
fenced,  sonje  of  the  residents  in  the  vicinity 
found  it  convenient  to  turn  therein  their  hor- 
ses, cattle,  sheep  and  swine,  and  we  find  the 
County  Board  on  July  8th,  1858,  passing  a 
resolution  directing  the  sheriff  to  turn  all  such 
animals  out.  Prom  the  start  the  county  had 
been  "in  a  bad  way  financially,  as  there  were  so 
many  things  necessary,  and  but  little  taxable 
property.  County  orders  were  not  worth  over 
fifty  cents  on  the  dollar,  and  the  county  build- 
ings had  not  yet  been  fully  paid  for,  and  more 
were  badly  needed.  An  act  was  therefore  passed 
by  the  Legislature  and  approved  June  11, 
1858,  authorizing  a  loan  for  not  to  exceed 
$5,000  upon  bonds  drawing  12  per  cent  inter- 
est. As  the  County  Commissioners  were  legis- 
lated out  of  office  by  this  same  Legislature,  and 
a  Board  of  County  Supervisors  substituted  in 
their  place,  composed  of  the  Chairman  of  each 
town  board,  it  became  necessary  to  pass  a 
special  act,  continuing  the  Board  of  County 
Commissioners  of  Blue  Earth  County  in  being 
until  September,  1858,  for  the  purpose  of  issu- 
ing the  bonds.  On  August  6th,  1858,  the  bonds 
were  issued  in  amounts  of  $500,  each  drawing 
twelve  per  cent  interest,  but  it  took  quite  a 
time  to  get  money  on  them,  as  the  country  had 
just  passed  through  a  severe  money  panic. 
These  were  the  first  bonds  ever  issued  by  the 
County. 

The  summer  of  1858  was  rather  wet  and 
the  navigation  of  the  Minnesota  was  good.  J. 
T.  Besser  kept  a  record  of  all  steamboat  arriv- 
als at  Mankato  during  the  season  with  names 
of   boats    and    dates    of   arrival,    which    we   still 


98 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


possess.     From  this  it  appears  that  the  names 
of  the  boats  and  number  of  arrivals  were: 
From   below: 

Medora     7 

Jennette    Roberts     27 

Time    &    Tide 20 

Franklin    Steel 35 

Isaac    Shelby     ; 16 

Freighter 14 

Wave      ..... ...;.... 8 

Minnesota 3 

Belfast     . . ... .; . . . . . ;....... 1 

Total      131 

From   above: 

Medora     2 

Jennette    Roberts 14 

Time    &    Tide 2 

Franklin     Steel     4 

Isaac    Shelby ; 9 

Freighter 11 

Wave      ...;.......' 4 

Minnesota      1 

Belfast 1 

Total    ,.....;,. 48 

Total  '  both    'ways  '. 179 

.Messrs.  Cleveland  and  Bntterfleld  bnilt  two 
flat  boats  at  M^nkato,  the  firgt  of  which,  was 
launched  on  September  18th  qf  this  year,  but 
the.  record  of  these  flat  boats  were  not  kept  by 
j..j-r.  Besser.  Mr.  Woloben  built  a  pleasure  boat 
for  the  "Mankato  Yacht  Club,"  which  was 
christened  "Kate"  and  launched  at  Lake  Crys- 
tal in  June.  This  boat  did  service  at  a  .big 
Independence  day  picnic,  held  in  the  grove  by 
Lake  Crystal  on  July  2nd.  On  September 
14th,  1858  was  held  the  first  meeting  of  the 
Board  of  County  Supervisors  cf  Blue  Earth 
County.     It  consisted  of  the   follov'ng  per^oiis: 

James    Shoemaker,    Mankato. 
Samuel   M.   Valker,   Mankato. 
Daniel     Campbell,    Lime. 
Timothy    Sullivan,    Jamestown. 
Lyman    Matthews,    South    Bend. 
James    A.    Wiswell,    Watonwan. 
Jasper    C.    Browning,    Vernon. 
James    Cornell,    Mapleton. 
David   Davi^,   Butternut   Valley. 
Robert   Patterson,   Judson. 
Rudolph    Crandall,   Liberty. 
Lucius   Dyer,   Jackson. 

,  Mr.  Walker  was  chosen  chairman  and  Wilr 
Ham  S.  Sargent,  clerk.  Heret^^forp  the  Eegis- 
ter  of  Deeds  had  been  the  Clorx  of  the  County 
Commissioners,  but  by  the  recent  act  tliC  Board 
was    authorized    to    select    another    person,    and 


ihe  name  of  the  office  was  changed  to  "Councj 
Audii-or."  PriJtieally  the  new  Boiirrl  consLsted 
of   seven  J-JepubJJcans   and  six  Democrats. 

There  were  still  some  who  wished  to  change 
their  township  namra  and  Messrs.  Crandall, 
Dyer  and  Browning  .were  appointed  a  committee 
to  consider  these  changes.  On  October  14th 
they  recommended  that  Jackson  be  changed  to 
"Danville,"  (a  name  suggested  by  Mr.  Dyer 
after  his  old  home  in  Vermont),  "Vernon"  to 
"Mt.  Vernon,"  "Otsego"  to  Willow  Creek"  and 
"Liberty"  to  "Shelby."  Most  of  these  changes 
became  necessary  because  the  names  had  been 
appropriated  by  other  towna  in  the  state.  The 
report  was  adopted  with  one  exception,  'Ver- 
non" was  changed  to  "Vernon  Center,"  as  both 
"Vernon"  and  "Mt.  Vernon"  had  already  been 
applied  to  other  towns  in  the  state. 

On  October  16th,  Joseph  Titus  was  appointed 
coroner  for  the  county.  The  rate  of  tax  for 
county  purposes  was  iixed  at  seven  and  one- 
half  -  per  cent,  and  at  the  same  meeting  Chas. 
A.  Chapman  was  hired  to  make  copies  of  all 
the  town  plats  in  the  county,  which  duty'  he 
performed   with   excellent  success. 

The  crops  of  1858  were  fairly  good  in  spite 
of  the  wet  season.  We  note  this  year  the  first 
known  raising  of  Amber  cane  in  the  county 
by  Eev.  Gunn  in  South  Bend  and  James  Miller 
in  Shelby.  It  was  generally  considered  by  the 
pioneers  that  Minnesota  was  too  cold  for  the 
production  of  apples.  S.  Titus  Mills  was 
among  the  first  to  demonstrate  that  this  fruit 
would  grow  in  this  climate.  He  had  an  orch- 
ard planted  on  his  farm  by  Mills  Lake  soon 
after  his  coming  there  in  1854.  Eobert  Good- 
year, also,  was  a  pioneer  in  apple  culture,  and 
he  did  much  to  stimulate  a  taste  for  horti- 
culture among  our  early  settlers. 

During  the  summer  of  1858  an  attempt  was 
made  to  start  an  educational  institution  at  Jud- 
son Village.  A  stock  company  was  formed  and 
$800.  raised,  which  was  applied  to  purchase 
a  frame  building  of  T.  E.  Coulson  and  a 
bright  young  Baptist  preacher,  Eev.  J.  E.  Ash, 
and  his  wife,  were  put  in  charge.  They  had 
a  number  of  scholars,  but  after  a  year  Eev. 
Ash  moved  to  Mankato  and  the  embryo  college 
failed,     A  number  of  private  high  schools  were. 


CHRISTIAN  CHURCH-SHELBY  NORWEGIAN  LUTHERAN  CHORCH-AMMrf  H.e.CHURCH-SHEl-BV 


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M.E.  CHURCH -AM eor 


SCHOOL  HOUSE  -  AMBOy 


THE  OLD  STONE  HOUSE  -So.3END 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


99 


also,  started  at  Maiikato  by  J.  E.  Beatty,  0.  0. 
Pitcher,  W.  L.  Coon,  and  others.  This  year 
Rev.  Jas.  Thompson,  whose  special  hobby  was 
education,  got  an  act  through  the  Legislature 
incorporating  the  "Southern  Minnesota  Uni- 
versity," and  in  September  he  was  elected  presi- 
dent; General  J.  E.  Tourtellotte,  Secretary,  and 
on  Nov.  10th  a  preparatory  department  was 
opened  at  Mankato  with  Rev:  Hugh  A.  McKel- 
vey  and  wife  as  teachers.  The  school  ran  for 
just  one  term  and  then  failed  for  want  of 
funds. 

Reports  from  twenty-three  public  schools  in 
the  county  showed  1,057  children  of  school  age, 
and  the  school  money  amounting  to  $2,387.98 
was  apportioned  to  them. 

On  Dee.  5th,  1858,  a  Baptist  church  was 
organized  at  Judson  and  at  the  same  time  and 
place  was  organized  the  "Minnesota  Valley  Bap- 
tist Association,"  to  embrace  Blue  Earth,  Nicol- 
let, Le  Sueur  and  Waseca  Counties. 

In  the  fall  of  this  year  the  Farmers'  Bank 
of  Garden  City  was  started  by  J.  H.  Dawes. 
Another  bank  started  at  Mankato,  but  neither 
were  very  substantial  or  did  much  real  bank- 
ing business. 

On  September  18,  1858  the  Republican  Con- 
vention met  at  Mankato  and  as  list  of  dele- 
gates recalls  so  manv  prominent  old  settlers  we 
give  it  entire:  Mankato,  Cramer  Burt,  A.  D. 
Seward,  W.  W.  Clark,  P.  Wistar,  J.  C.  Haupt, 
H.  E.  L.  Gude  and  H.  DuBuison;  South  Bend, 
B.  Park  Dewey,  P.  Eckstrom  and  T.  M.  Pugh ; 
•Tudson,  Robert  Patterson,  Au?.  Tidland  and 
John  I.  Jones;  Butternut  Valley,  John  S. 
Davies,  David  J.  Davies  and  Daniel  L.  Williams-, 
Ceresco,  Isaac  Slocum,  James  Wilson  and  Dr. 
J.  0.  Tibil;  Vernon,  Col.  B.  P.  Smith,  James 
Oonnel  and  John  A.  Darling;  Watonwan,  Wil- 
liam Hanna,  A.  J.  Jewett  and  John  Dillev; 
Danville.  Lucius  Dver;  Sbelbyville,  Rev.  J.  W. 
Powell.  R.  Crandall  and  J.  P.  Stoek,  Maple- 
ton;  Rev.  J.  E.  Conrad,  Robt.  Tavlor  and 
John  Henderson.  At  the  election,  held  Octo- 
ber, 1858,  there  were  over  1.000  votes  cast  in 
tbe  county.  The  Republicans  won  bv  a  small 
marsrin  and  elected  about  half  of  the  countv 
officers.  To  show  the  increase  of  propertv  dur- 
ing first   five   years   of,  its  history   we   give   the 


assessed  valuation  of  each  year:  1853,  $5,000.00; 
1854,  $37,529.00;  1855,  $43,609.00;  1856, 
$141,377.44;  1857,  $310,659.00. 

On  January  5th,  1859,  Mankato  and  South" 
Bend  secured  daily  mail  service  to  St.  Paul 
for  the  first  time.  In  February,  1859,  there 
was  much  activity  among  the  militia  companies 
of  the  county.  The  Mankato  Company  received 
new  arms  and  uniforms,  and  the  streets  of 
Mankato  were  enlivened  by  frequent  drills  under 
Captain  Guenther.  The  Garden  City  Sharp- 
shooters re-organized  under  the  new  law,  with 
T.  E.  Potter  as  Captain,  and  having  sixty  mem- 
bers, rank  and  file.  On  March  2nd,  1859  the 
Mankato  Artillery  Company  was  organized  with 
the   following  officers: 

Captain,    James    Shoemaker. 
First    Lieutenant,    Sumner   Hylan. 
iSeeond    Lieutenant,    Jas.    B.    Hubbell. 
Third   Lieutenant,  Edwin   Bradley. 
First    Sargeant,    L.   D.    Patterson. 
Second  Sargeant,  Chas.  A.  Chapman. 
Third    Sargeant,    George    A.    Clark. 
Fourth   Sargeant,   Chas.  Mansfield. 
Ensign.   Joshua  Wolahen. 
First    Corporal,    Fred    C.    Roosevelt. 
Second  Corporal,  T.  C  Bevans. 
Third  Corporal,  G.  L.  Turner. 
Fourth   Corporal,  L.   C.   Johnson. 

The  rank  and  file  numbered  40  men.  During 
the  winter  large  public  meetings  were  held  at 
Mankato,  South  Bend  and  Le  Hillier  to  agitate 
the  matter  of  removing  the  Winnebagoes  from 
the  county,  and  strong  resolutions  were  sent  to 
Congress  asking  speedy  action.  The  cause  which 
incited  at  this  time  the  feeling  against  the 
Winnebagoes,  and  which  perhaps  stirred  up  the 
military  spirit  of  the  county',  was  the  shooting 
in  January,  1859,  at  the  Town  of  Danville,  of 
one  John  Bums  by  a  Winnebago.  Indian.  It 
seems  that  Burns  had  been  furnishing  the  In- 
dians on  the  quiet  a  little  "fire  water,"  and 
this  was  at  the  bottom  of  the  trouble. 

The  winter  of  1858-59  was  another  very 
mild  one.  The  rivers  broke  up  in  January  and 
again  about  the  middle  of  March.  On  the  24th 
of  l\Tarch  the  new  bridge  across  the  Blue  Earth 
at  Vernon  was  swept  away  by  the  freshet,  while 
the  two  new  bridges  at  Garden  City,  as  well  as 
the  one  at  Watonwan,  barely  escaped.  Some  of 
ilie  settlers  this  year  seeded  as  early  as  February 
and  had  good  crops.     On  February  10th,   1859, 


100 


HISTORY  OF  BLUB  EARTH  COUNTY. 


the  Board  of  Supervisors  appointed  John  A. 
Willard,  County  Attorney  at  a  salary  of  $300.00 
per  annum. 

At  the  town  elections  held  in  April,  1859, 
many  new  chairmen  of  Supervisors  were  elected 
and  these  met  as  a  new  Board  of  County  Sup- 
ervisors on  May  35th,  1859.  The  members  of 
tJiis  new  board  were: 

Lyman  Matthews,  chairman,   South  Bend. 
H.   K.    and   C.    S.   Dunscomb,   Mankato. 
Anthony  J.  Crisp,  Judson. 
George   Owens,   Butternut   Valley. 
John  M.  Mead,  Ceresco. 
Theodore    E.    Potter,    Watonwan. 
Thos.   S.  Hays,  Vernon   Center. 
Rudolph    Crandall,    Shelby. 
James    Cornell,    Mapleton. 
Timothy    Sullivan,    Jamestown. 
Lucius    Dyer,    Danville. 
Evans    Goodrich,   Lime. 

The  majority  of  this  board  being  Republi- 
cans, at  their  first  meeting  they  appointed  B. 
Parke  Dewey,  an  active  worker  in  that  party, 
and  a  young  attorney  of  promise,  as  County 
Attorney  in  place  of  Mr.  Willard  and  fixed  his 
salary  at  $200.00  a  year;  they  also  made  the 
"Mankato  Independent"  the  ofEicial  county  pa- 
per. On  June  1st  the  Independent  moved  its 
office  to  the  rear  of  the  second  story  of  the 
Tjeech  building.  Declaring  it  the  ofEicial  paper 
\!&s  not  a  mere  matter  of  form  but  rather  get- 
ting things  in  order  to  welcome  a  rival.  Poli- 
tics in  those  days  were  very  intense  and  bitter. 
Mr.  Hensley  when  he  first  Came  to  Mankato 
had  intended  to  run  his  paper  to  accord  with 
its  name  of  "Independent,"  but  the  suction  of 
the  political  current,  as  it  approached  the  great 
cataract  of  the  Civil  War  was  too  strong  for  a 
man  of  his  convictions  and  temperament.  He 
was  an  able,  forcible  writer  and  soon  made  his 
paper  ring  with  Republican  editorials.  The 
more  he  pleased  his  Republican  readers,  the  less 
his  paper  suited  his  Democratic  patrons.  The 
latter  concluded  after  their  defeat  in  the  election 
of  1858  that  if  their  party  was  to  maintain  its 
position  in  the  county,  it  must  have  an  organ 
of  its  own.  The  matter  was  discussed  by  a 
number  of  invited  Democratic  leaders  at  a 
m^eeting  held  at  Mankato.  Finally  they  suc- 
ceeded in  inducing  John  C.  Wise,  recent  editor 
of  the  "Superior  City  Chronicle,"  to  come  to 
Mankato    and    start    a   Democratic    paper.      He 


came  early  in  June  to  look  the  ground  over  and, 
being  favorably  impressed,  sent  at  once  for  his 
printing  outfit,  which  arrived  on  the  34th  of 
that  month  on  the  Jennette  Roberts.  This 
new  Journalistic  venture  was  christened  "The 
Mankato  Record"  and  its  first  issue,  dated  July 
5th,  1859,  appeared  on  the  afternoon  of  July 
4th,  1859,  when  a  big  celebration  was  booked,  at 
Mankato.  A  cold  rain  neccessitated  the  post- 
ponement of  the  celebration  to  the  next  day. 
The  New  Ulm  and  Mankato  bands,  the  Man- 
kato Rifles  under  Capt.  Guenther,  and  the 
Turner  Society  were  features  of  the  parade.  An 
oration  by  Senator  Wilkinson  and  a  picnic  din- 
ner in  the  grove  near  Warrens  Creek,  were  the 
tM'O  other  principal  events  of  the  day. 

The  celebration  gave  the  new  editor  a  good 
opportunity  to  meet  the  people  and  become  ac- 
quainted. The  Democrats  of  the  county  could 
not  have  made  a  better  selection  to  champion 
their  principles  than  John  C.  Wise.  Personally 
he  possessed  all  the  elements  of  a  popular  leader. 
Genial,  kind,  and  warm  hearted  he  made  a  host 
of  friends  among  his  opponents.  His  democratic 
ways  made  him  accessible  to  everybody,  no  mat- 
ter what  their  station  in  life  or  their  political 
views.  This  kept  him  in  touch  with  all  the 
people  of  the  county  and  the  events  of  their 
lives.  In  those  days  no  country  editor  could 
afford  to  keep  a  reporter,  but  Mr.  Wise  did  not 
need  any.  Everybody  reported  to  him.  He  was 
a  very  ready  and  able  writer,  and  his  wonderful 
knowledge  of  men  and  events  made  his  paper 
always  one  of  the  best  and  most  influential  of 
the  country  journals  of  the  state.  Hundreds  of 
Republicans  were  constantly  on  its  list  of  sub- 
scrihers. 

On  April  15th,  1859,  a  treaty  was  made  at 
Washington  with  representatives  of  the  Win- 
nebago Indians,  whereby  they  ceded  the  west 
two-thirds  of  their  reservation  in  Blue  Earth 
County  and  were  to  be  allotted  eighty  acre 
farms  in  severalty  on  the  balance  of  their  land. 
Owing  to  the  change  of  administration  and  the 
troublous  times,  which  soon  followed,  the  provis- 
ions of  the  treaty  were  never  consummated. 

Navigation  was  fairly  good  on  the  Minnesota 
this  year,  though  not  up  to  the  previous  year. 
The    Freighter,    which    arrived    at   Mankato,   on 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


10 1 


March  27thj  was  the  first  boat.  In.  the  latter 
part  of  June^  during  a  period  of  high  water, 
this  boat  ascended  the  Minnesota  with  intent  to 
get  into  Big  Stone  Lake  and,  passing  thence 
along  the  swale  which  connects  that  lake  with 
Lake  Traverse,  got  into  the  Eed  Eiver.  The 
scheme  might  have  succeeded,  but  the  crew  got 
drunk  at  New  Ulm,  and  before  they  sobered  off, 
the  freshet  was  over  and  their  boat  got  stuck 
in  the  mud  about  two  miles  below  the  Big  Stone 
outlet,  where  the  keel  remained  for  many  years 
to  commemorate  the  event.  In  all  there  were 
103  boat  arrivals  from  St.  Paul  and  twenty- 
nine  from  the  west,  total  131,  at  the  Mankato 
levee.  The  Franklia  Steel  made  nineteen 
of  these  from  St.  Paul  and  eleven  from  the 
west,  the  Favorite  forty-four  from  St.  Paul 
and  four  from  the  west,  and  the  Jennette  Eob- 
erts  31  from  St.  Paul  and  8  from  the  west. 
Besides  the  steamboats,  the  flat  boats,  built  by 
Cleveland  and  Butterfield,  called  the  "Minneopa" 
and  "Victor,"  were  operated  for  most  of  the 
season  during  low  water. 

From  newspaper  reports  of  this  year  we  learn 
that  Mankato  had  a  population  of  about  1,000. 
That  it  had  nineteen  stores,  five  hotels,  two 
saw  mills,  to  one  of  which  (Seward  Co.)  a  large 
grist  mill  was  attached  in  December,  five  re- 
hgious  societies,  (Presbyterian,  Catholic,  Metho- 
dist, Baptist  and  Universalist),  two  newspapers, 
one  or  two  brickyards  and  lime  kilns.  West 
Mankato  possessed  a  good  hotel  and  a  saw  mill. 
Le  Hillier  had  a  stone  hotel,  a  good  school,  a 
lyceum,  and  several  buildings.  South  Bend  had 
a  big  hotel,  two  saw  mills,  five  stores,  two  or 
three  religious  societies,  and  a  population  .of 
about  two  hundred  and  fifty  to  three  hundred, 
Judson  had  a  fine  saw  mill,  two  stores,  an  acad- 
emy, and  some  thirty  dwellings.  Garden  City 
had  a  good  hotel,  two  mills  (the  Yankee  mill 
having  three  riin  of  stones  and  capacity  for 
1,500  bushels  daily),  two  stores,  a  bank,  a  pub- 
lic hall,  an  armory,  a  post  office,  a  school  house, 
two  religious  societies,  and  a  population  of  about 
one  hundred  and  seventy.  Watonwan  had  a 
mill  and  a  good  hotel,  kept  by  D.  D.  Hunter. 
Vernon  had  two  or  three  stores,  a  hotel,  post 
office,  two  mills,  one  or  two  religious  societies, 
and  a  population  of  about  100.     Shelbyville  pos- 


sessed two  miUs,  three  stores,  hotel,  postoffice, 
an  M.  E.  church,  and  a  population  of  100, 
Mapleton  had  a  store  and  mill,  and  there  were 
mills  at  varioTjis  other  points  in  the  county,  and 
a  number  of  wooden  bridges  had  been  con- 
structed. This  is  only  a  birds  eye  glance  over 
the  county  and  is  not  intended  by  any  means  to 
cover  aU.  the  industries  of  any  village  in  detail. 

Prairie  fires  were  very  destructive  in  the  fall 
at  Shelby,  Danville  and  other  towns.  In  July, 
1860,  Wm.  J.  Dexter  of  Davis,  Smith  and  Dex- 
ter, proprietors  of  "Bank  of  Fox  Lake,  Wis.," 
and  of  "Farmers  Bank  of  Garden  City,  Minn.," 
opened  a  bank  at  Mankato. 

During  this  and  the  previous  summer  much 
interest  was  taken  in  Minneopa  Falls.  Artists 
from  St.  Paul,  St.  Anthony,  and  elsewhere  vis- 
ited it  and  made  pictures  of  it.  Picnic  parties 
from  St.  Peter,  Traverse,  Mankato  and  other 
points  resorted  to  it. 

A  military  company  was  organized  at  Win- 
nebago Agency  on  Aug.  2,  1859,  with  Dr.  Cole- 
man as  captain  and  Asa  White  as  first  lieu- 
tenant. Originally  there  were  thirty  members 
which  in  a  month  increased  to  forty-eight.  They 
were  equipped  with  MLonie  rifles  and  all  neces- 
sary accoutrements  from  the  state  armory.  On 
Aug.  3rd  and  4th  Major  CuUen  came  to  Man- 
kato and  paid  the  voli;inteeTS,  who  had  served 
in  the  defense  of  the  frontier  during  the  Inkpa- 
dutah  massacre.  Dr.  Lewis'  company  received 
about  $12.00  to  $13.00  apiece.  Congress  had 
appropriated  on  June  14,  1858,  $30,000.00,  but 
$1,163.81  had  been  used  in  expenses  of  in- 
vestigation of  causes  of  the  massacre.  The  bal- 
ance was  used  in  paying  claims  of  volunteer 
expeditions,  search  for,  and  ransom  of  female 
captives,  and  loss  of  property.  The  aggregate 
claims  reached  $46,232.62  and  of  these  $25,- 
114.91  were  approved  by  Major  CuUen,  and 
were  paid  pro  rata.  The  home  guard  com- 
panies did  not  receive  anything  for  their  ser- 
vices. 

On  October  7,  1859,  was  held  the  flrst  fair  in 
our  county.  The  place  was  the  farm  of  Miner 
Porter,  which  adjoined  the  village  of  South 
Bend.  Daniel  Buck,  afterward  Judge  of  Su- 
preme Court,  but  then  a  lawyer  and  postmaster 
at  South  Bend  was  the  orator  of  the  occasion. 


102 


HISTORY  OF  BLUB  BAETH  COUNTY. 


Messrs.  Porter  and  Buck  were  rauch.  interested 
in  agricultural  and  horticultural  matters  and  it 
•vvas  mainly  through  their  efforts  that  the  Blue 
Earth  County  Agricultural  Society  was  organ- 
ized, and  this  year  its  first  fair  was  gotten  up. 

The  fall  election  of  1859  was  very  hotly  con- 
tested throughout  the  state.  The  fact  that  the 
two  great  parties  were  about  evenly  balanced  in  our 
commonwealth  and  were  sparring  for  every  ad- 
vantage preparatory  to  the  Presidential  cam- 
paign, gave  to  this  Minnesota  election  national 
interest.  Both  parties  sent  into  the  state  their 
best  speakers,  a  number  of  whom  spoke  at  Man- 
kato.  On  the  Eepublican  side  our  people  lis- 
tened to  Hon.  Frank  P.  Blair  of  Missouri,  Carl 
Schurz  of  Wisconsin,  and  Galusha  A.  Grow  of 
Pennsylvania,  and  fully  equal  to  these  imported 
orators,  were  our  own.  Gen.  J.  H.  Baker  and 
Morton  S.  Wilkiason.  On  the  Democratic  side 
Gov.  A.  P.  WiUard  of  Ind.,  Hon.  Chas.  H. 
Larabee  of  Wis.,  Gen.  James  Shields,  James  M. 
Cavauaugh,  Geo.  L.  Becker,  of  Minn.,  and  Mr. 
lioth  of  Wis.  The  Democrats  held  their  county 
convention  at  Besser's  hall  in  Garden  City.  The 
list  of  delegates  were:  Mankato,  Louis  Stroaker, 
M.  T.  Comstock,  S.  M.  Walker,  Isaac  Marks, 
James  Besser  and  Clements  Kron;  Jamestown, 
T.  Sullivan,  Solon  Webster  and  J.  Meagher; 
South  Bend,  Benj.  McGiven,  Geo.  M.  Keenan, 
Wm.  Hewitt  and  S.  Farnham;  Watonwan,  J. 
Daggett,  Jas.  A.  Wiswell,  J.  K.  Mead  and  J. 
K.  Capwell;  Shelby ville,  A.  D.  Pinkerton,  John 
Dimond  and  Wash.  Kaggerice;  Mapleton,  Moses 
Herman,  Benjamin  Corp  and  C.  T.  Francis; 
Danville,  Nick  Kremer,  J.  L.  Sampson  and  Jas. 
Shoemaker;  Judson,  David  Dackins,  T.  E.  Coul- 
son  and  B.  Comstock;  Butternut  Valley,  Samuel 
B.  Shaw,  Peter  McGivney  and  David  P.  Davis; 
Lime,  Evans  Goodrich,  Michael  Hund  and  Hiram 
J.  Fuller;  Vernon,  Nathan  Bass,  L.  F.  True 
and  S.  Higbee;  Ceresco,  John  Mitchell,  John 
Porter  and  A.  B.  Barney;  at  large,  Daniel  Buck 
and  J.  Travis  Eosser. 

At  the  election  which  occurred  Oct.  11,  1859, 
the  Eepublicans  were  victorious  and  for  the  first 
time  elected  their  entire  county  ticket.  D.  C. 
Evans  was  chosen  State  Senator;  Henry  Stock, 
Eepresentative;  Dan.  Tyner,  Sheriff;  J.  B.  Hub- 


bell,  Eegister  of  Deeds;  and  H.  DuBuisson, 
Treasurer.  The  total  vote  of  the  county  was 
1,294. 

In  December,  1859,  Morton  S.  Wilkinson  was 
elected  to  the  United  States  Senate,  the  first 
and  only  resident  of  Blue  Earth  County  ever 
chosen  to  that  office. 

The  bar  of  Blue  Earth  County,  in  1859, 
contaiued  a  number  of  able  attorneys.  At  Man- 
kato were:  Wilkinson  &  Burt,  Willard  &  Bar- 
ney, Eosser  &  Lobdell  and  Tourtellotte  &  Pitcher ; 
South  Bend  had  Daniel  Buck  and  B.  Parke 
Dewey;  and  Garden  City  possessed  James  A. 
Wiswell  and  S.  B.  James.  In  those  days  the 
court  met  in  some  public  hall  at  Mankato.  Some- 
times in  what  was  known  as  "City  HaU"  and 
sometimes  in  a  hall  in  the  Leech  stone  building. 
In  spite  of  such  legal  talent  the  administration 
of  justice  had  its  humorous  side  in  those  prima- 
tive  days.  It  is  said  on  good  authority  that  one 
of  the  first  boards  of  County  Commissioners 
tried  a  divorce  case  and  rendered  a  judgment 
therein,  before  they  discovered  their  want  of 
jurisdiction.  Once  an  assault  and  battery  case 
was  tried  before  Squire  Pfaff  of  Mankato.  The 
evidence  was  overwhelming  against  the  defend- 
ant and  his  only  excuse  was  that  the  complain- 
ing witness  had  called  him  a  'liar."  After  an 
hour's  deliberation  the  jury  brought  in  the  ver- 
dict "guilty,  provided  the  court  will  assess  the 
fine  at  no  more  than  five  dollars."  The  attor- 
ney for  the  prosecution  objected  to  that  form  of 
verdict  and  the  jury  were  sent  back  to  correct 
it,  as  they  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  amount 
of  the  fine.  After  two  hours'  deliberation  they 
returned  into  the  court  with  the  verdict  of  "Not 
Guilty."  The  complaining  witness  happened  to 
be  a  German  and  the  jury  were  afraid  to  trust 
Squire  Pfaff  as  to  the  fine. 

A  man's  wife  ran  away  to  St.  Peter.  The 
husband  went  to  see  a  Mankato  justice,  who 
promptly  issued  a  writ  of  replevin,  and  armed 
with  this  legal  document  the  constable  brought 
her  home.  An  attorney  told  the  justice  after- 
wards that  he  could  not  replevy  a  human  being, 
"But"  retorted  the  Justice  "I  did  it."  Many 
interesting  reminiscences  are  told  of  our  pio- 
neer courts,  but  we  must  not  further  digress. 


CHAPTER  XII. 

EVENTS  OF  1860  AND  1861— BEGINNING 
OF  THE  CIVIL  WAR  AND  FIRST  EN- 
LISTMENTS. 


On  January  4,  I860,  all  of  town  108  range  35, 
except  south  tier  of  sections,  was  separated 
from  Jamestown  and  organized  into  a  town  by 
itself,  under  the  name  of  Lake.  On  the  same 
date  the  town  of  Mapleton  was  severed  from  the 
town  of  Sherman  and  made  an  independent 
town,  under  the  name  of  "Sterling,"  and  the 
name  of  the  town  of  Sherman  on  petition  chang- 
ed to  "Mapleton."  On  the  same  date,  also,  it 
appears  that  there  were  28  school  districts  in 
actual  existence  in  the  county,  in  which  there 
were  1,165  pupils. 

At  its  session  in  March,  1860,  the  Legislature 
abolished  the  Board  of  County  Supervisors  and 
went  back  to  the  old  plan  of  governing  counties 
by  Commissioners.  Accordingly,  at  a  special 
election  held  ia  Blue  Earth  County  on  April  3, 
1860,  the  following  Commissioners  were  elected : 
Chas.  Thompson,  Chairman;  Robert  Taylor,  W. 
H.  Blackmer,  J.  M.  Mead  and  R.  H.  Allen, 
all  Republicans,  and  on  June  6th,  1860,  this 
board  divided  the  county  into  five  commissioner 
districts   as   follows : 

No.  1,  Lime,  Lake  and  Jamestown. 

No.   2,   Mankato. 

No.  3,  South  Bend,  Judson  and  Butternut  Valley. 

No.  4,  Ceresco,  Watonwan,  Vernon  and  Fox  Lake. 

No.  5,   Shelby,  Sterling,  Mapleton   and  Danville. 

June  5th,  1860,  upon  motion  of  Mr.  Mead  the 
County  Commissioners  in  order  to  correct  the 
error  ia  naming  towns  106  and  107  in  range  39, 
named  the  former  "Fox  Lake"  and  the  latter 
"Ceresco"  and  thus  the  mistake  was  legally  cor- 
rected, but  as  a  matter  of  fact  it  was  never  done, 
for  the  old  blunder  continued  in  the  record 
books  of  the  county  and  finally  prevailed.  On 
June  8,  1860,  the  town  of  "Lake"  had  its  name 
changed   to   "Tivoli,"   and   on   September   5th  it 


was  again  changed  on  petition  to  "Le  Ray." 

The  winter  of  1859-60  was  rather  open,  ex- 
cept for  a  few  weeks  in  the  last  of  December 
and  first  part  of  January.  By  February  the 
snow  was  mostly  gone  and  some  seeding  was 
done  in  the  latter  part  of  February.  On  March 
10th  the  rivers  were  clear  of  ice.  On  March 
22  d  the  "Time  and  Tide"  arrived  at  Mankato 
and  South  Bend,  as  the  first  boat  of  the  season. 
As  there  had  not  been  much  snow  the  water  was 
quite  low,  and  navigation  poor  all  summer. 
The  larger  boats  could  only  reach  Mankato  a 
few  days  in  April,  and  again  for  three  or  four 
days  in  June.  A  few  of  the  smaller  boats, 
like  the  "Little  Dorrit,"  "Eloian"  and  "Albany," 
were  able  to  ascend  the  river,  except  for  a  short 
period  ia  mid  summer.  The  Albany  was  a 
new  boat  this  year  and  built  expressly  for  low 
water.  The  old  settlers  used  to  say  that  she 
only  needed  a  light  dew  to  run.  Mr.  Cleveland's 
two  barges  were,  also,  kept  in  constant  opera- 
tion and  did  good  service.  A  new  bridge  had 
been  finished  during  the  winter  at  Vernon,  and 
another  by  Mr.  McCarthy  over  the  Le  Sueur. 

In  March  a  large  black  bear  nearly  seven  feet 
in  length  was  killed  in  South  Bend  township  on 
the  Blue  Earth  and  deer  were  still  very  plenty 
in  the  woods.  The  fur  trade  of  those  days  was 
a  big  item  and  as  indicative  of  the  number  of 
wild  animals  still  found  ia  the  county,  the  one 
firm  of  White  &  Marks,  at  Mankato,  bought  and 
shipped  during  ten  days  in  April  the  following 
furs :  2,150  muskrats,  130  minks,  19  coon,  21 
beavers,  16  otters,  2  wolves,  total  value  $750.00. 
This  gives  some  faint  idea  of  what  the  fur 
trade  of  the  whole  county  would  amount  to  in 
a  whole  year.  Many  a  pioneer  depended  largely 
on  this  trade  for  much  of  his  living. 


103 


104  HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 

The   census   of   1860   showed   the   total   popu-  In   the   spring   of   this   year   the    Pikes    Peak 

lation  of  Blue  Earth  County  to  be  4,827,  farms  gold  fever  prevailed   and   a  number   of   persons 

491,    manufacturing   establishments    191.      Prom  in  our  county  vrere  effected.  Among  these  were 

the   census  taken  June  1st,   1860   the  following  1).    C.    Evans,    W.    H.    Shepard    and    others.    A 

table   regarding   the   population   of    Blue    Earth  few   weeks    experience    worked    a   complete   cure 

County  may  be  of  interest:  and  all  were  glad  to  return. 

Name  of  Towns          '  No.  Dwellings    No.  Families      Males       Females     Total  The   Indians    aS    USUal    in    those    days    managed 

CerescT*.^.^.'!"''.       60           I        llo       llo       230  *«  contribute  their  share  to  the  exciting  events 

Danville 40           38         90         67       157  of    the    period.      Early    in    the    sprine:    a    large 

Fox  Lake 18            16           32          37          69  j.        j!   ii,      a-                  j.          •     j.   ±1       /^i  • 

Jamestown 61            58         120       110       230  '^^^  V^^^J  °f  ^^  ^^°'^'^  ^ent  agamst  the   Chip- 

Judson 55           52        132       102       234  peways   on   the   upper   Mississippi,   and   returned 

Lime 64            61         133        100        233  :      ,/          .,,          /^         ,             j              , 

Mankato 404         376        830       731     1561  i^  J^^^y  With  a  few  scalps  and  seventeen  lodges' 

Mapleton 84          81        174       140       314  of    them    camped    where    north    Mankato    now 

Shelby 75            71         159        157        316  ^             i,      j     ^  iv,           -j.  t,   j  xi_  • 

South  Bend 115           97        238  ■     214       452  stands,  while  another  band  of  them  pitched  their 

Watonwan 93          93        209       184       393  teepees   below   Mankato.     For   several    days   and 

Vernon 108          104         24o        237        482  .   ,  ,     ,,               ,           ,, 

nights  the  people  at  the  county  seat  were  regaled 

Total 1,212      1,137     2,560    2,267    4,827  ^.ith  the  music  of  the  tom-tom  and  scalp  dance. 

At  Mankato  this  year  Warren's  Addition  was  Early  in  June  a  war  party  of  the  Chippeways 
platted,  a  large  stone  church  was  erected  by  the  thirsting  for  vengeance  appeared  on  .  the  scene 
Catholic  society,  and  a  number  of  new  stores  and  a  skirmish  occurred  near  South  Bend.  The 
and  manufacturing  enterprises  started.  In  July  squaws  and  papooses  when  the  foe  appeared  fled 
of  this  year  (1860)  Henry  Thoms  opened  at  to  the  cabins  of  the  settlers  for  protection  like  a 
Mankato  the  first  barbershop  in  the  county.  Pro-  covey  of  partridges  before  the  hawk, 
bably  after  this  the  typical  hirsute  aspect  of  This  year  claims  for  damages  resulting  from 
the  frontier  among  us  began  to  disappear.  the  Inkpadutah  war  were  proved  before  George 
About  April  1st,  the  Mankato  Hook  and  Lad-  L.  Becker  as  Commissioner  and  $16,679.97  paid, 
der  Co.,  was  organized  at  the  city  hall, — the  first  Fourth  of  July  celebrations  were  held  in  1860 
fire  company  in  the  county.  Among  its  first  at  Mankato,  Winnebago  Agency,  South  Bend, 
officers  were:  President,  Edward  E.  Parry,  Vice  Vernon  and  Butternut  Valley.  At  Mankato 
Pres.  Z.  Paddock;  Secy.,  0.  0.  Pitcher;  Treas.,  the  program  was  in  charge  of  the  new  fire  corn- 
Isaac  Marks;  Board  of  Directors,  James  Shoe-  pany,  which  appeared  on  the  occasion  in  its 
maker,  William  H.  Hodgson,  W.  Wycoff,  Jas.  B.  new  uniform  of  gray  shirts,  black  pantaloons, 
Hubbell  and  Edwin  Bradley.  patent  leather  belts,  and  blue  cloth  caps,  trim- 
In  July  1860,  the  Independent  and  the  med  with  gold  lace  and  letters.  Beside  the 
Pecord  were  both  changed  from  weekly  to  fire  company,  the  Mankato  Eifle  Company  under 
semi  weekly  papers.  In  October  M.  T.  C.  Capt.  Ulman  and  the  Artillery  Company  under 
Fowler  bought  of  Capt.  Joseph  Guenther,  the  Capt.-  Patterson  were  big  features  of  the  parade, 
building  called  Union  Hall  and  converted  it  in-  which  was  in  charge  of  Col.  Tourtellotte  as 
to  a  hotel  with  the  name  "Clifton  House."  Marshall,  Fred  C.  Eoosevelt,  as  Aid  and  Dan  H. 
At  South  Bend  the  building  of  a  steam  grist  Tyner  as  Assistant.  Attorney  Cramer  Burt 
mill,  then  the  largest  in  the  county,  by  McCauley  delivered  the  address.  At  Garden  City  Daniel 
and  McNamara  was  the  principal  event  of  the  Buck  and  General  James  H.  Baker  delivered  ad- 
year.     It  was  completed  by  October  and  did  a  dresses. 

flourishing  business  for   a  time.     Miner  ■  Porter  The   public   schools   of   the   county   were  now 

built   on   what  is   now   the   McConnell   farm    a  well  started.  Log  schoolhouses  were  the  universal 

summer     hotel     which     he     called     Minneopa  rule  in  village  and  country,  but  soon  good  work 

House.     It  was  surrounded  with  a  profusion  of  was   being   done   in   these   primitive   educational 

shrubbery,  trees  and  flowers  and  enclosed  by  an  edifices.    There   were    1085    children   reported  in 

artistic   fence  with  high   arching   gates.  the  public  schools  on  the  first  of  the  year,  be- 


HISTORY  OF  BLUB  EARTH  COUNTY. 


105 


sides  the  large  number  attending  private  high 
schools.  In  June  of  this  year,  Ira  S.  Smith 
was  appointed  the  first  County  Superintendent, 
of  schools.  In  those  days  there  was  no  home- 
stead law,  and  the  settlers  had  made  all  their 
claims  under  the  preemption  act,  which  re- 
quired a  payment  of  $1.35  per  acre  to  the 
government.  In  July  1860  the  lands  in  Minne- 
sota were  forced  to  sale,  which  meant  that 
every  settler  must  pay  for  his  land  within  a 
given  time  or  lose  it.  This  produced  conster- 
nation among  all  the  settlers  as  all  were  very 
poor  and  interest  rates  were  exorbitant,  none 
less  than  12  per  cent  and  much  going  as  high 
as  25  per  cent.  On  the  24th  of  July,  1860,  the 
settlers  of  Blue  Earth  county  met  at  Mankato 
in  mass  convention,  to  protest  against  the  undue 
haste  of  the  government  in  crowding  the  pay- 
ment in  so  unseasonable  a  time,  but  it  did  not 
avail.  The  money  loaners  reaped  a  rich  harvest 
and  the  settlers  had  to  grin  and  bear  it  though 
a  number  of  them  in  the  end  lost  their  farms. 

While  the  election  of  M.  S.  Wilkinson  to  the 
U.  S.  Senate  lost  to  the  Bar  of  the  county  one 
of  its  most  brilliant  members,  the  coming  to 
Mankato  of  Judge  Franklin  H.  Waite  in  the 
fall  of  this  year,  kept  up  its  reputation.  For 
what  the  Judge  might  have  lacked  in  brillian- 
cy compared  to  Wilkinson,  he  more  than  made 
up  in  industry. 

On  October  2nd  and  3rd,  1860,  the  second 
county  fair  was  held  at  Garden  City.  Judge 
Flandrau  was  the  orator  of   the  occasion. 

PoHtics  this  year  was  at  a  white  heat  in  Blue 
Earth  County,  as  elsewhere  through  the  country. 
Republican  clubs,  Lincoln,  and  Wide  Awake 
Clubs,  and  Democratic  and  Douglass  Clubs  were 
organized  everywhere  and  liberty  poles  erected. 
The  people  were  wild  with  enthusiasm.  They 
argued,  debated,  orated,  sang  campaign  songs, 
built  log  cabins,  and  carried  fence  rails  on  their 
shoulders.  They  hoorahed  for  the  "Little  Giant" 
and  for  "Honest  Abe"  until  their  throats  were 
cracked.  The  Republicans  won  out  in  Blue  Earth 
County  electing  aU  their  candidates,  except  the 
state  senator  for  which  oSice  S.  F.  Barmey  was 
chosen  with  the  aid  of  Le  Sueur  County. 

In  November  of  this  year  the  VaUey  Stage 
Co.,   began   with   relay    of   horses,   to    carry   the 


mail  through  from  St.  Paul  to  Mankato  in  one 
day. 

The  river  closed  on  November  23nd,  when  the 
first  snow  fell.  Up  to  this  time  the  weather  had 
been  fine  and  farmers  were  able  to  plow.  Crops 
had  been  fairly  good  over  the  county,  but  prices 
were  very  low.  Wheat  only  brought  thirty  to 
thirty-five  cents  per  bushel,  pork  about  one  to 
two  cents  per  pound.  Owing  to  the  low  stage  of 
water  the  warehouses  in  South  Bend  and  Man- 
kato had  been  left  unemptied,  and  hence  buy- 
ers could  not  purchase  more.  The  winter  was 
quite  severe  with  a  heavy  fall  of  snow,  which 
did  not  melt  until  the  first  week  in  April.  The 
resulting  fioods  were  the  highest  for  many  years. 
The  Jennette  Roberts  was  the  first  boat  on  April, 
10th,  1861. 

The  report  of  MaJ.  Mix  agent  of  the  Winne- 
bago Indians  for  the  year  1860  showed  the  total 
number  of  red  men  at  this  agency  to  be  about 
3,106,  or  nearly  400  families,  of  the  number 
706  were  females  and  878  children.  About  200 
resided  oflE  the  reservation,  mostly  in  Wisconsin. 
There  were  1,600  acres  of  land  cultivated  that 
year  by  the  Indians,  fourteen  families  of  them 
raised  enough  wheat  and  oats  .for  their  own 
use.  There  had  been  260  cases  of  small  pox 
among  them  during  the  year,  forty -three  of 
which  had  proved  fatal.  The  school  at  the 
agency  had  been  in  charge  of  Supt.  W.  E.  Cul- 
]en;  two  interpreters  had  been  employed;  118 
pupils  enrolled,  62  males  and  fifty-eight  females, 
F.nd  the  average  attendance  was  71  1-2.  The 
branches  taught  were  orthography,  reading,  writ- 
ing, arithmetic,  geography  and  grammar.  The 
girls  were  also  taught  house  work.  This  gives 
us  a  glimpse  of  Indian  Agency  life  in  Blue 
Earth  County.  Many  of  its  most  prominent 
features,  however,  were  not  incorporated  in  the 
report.  The  number  of  gallons  of  whisky  con- 
sumed, the  quarrels  between  themselves,  and 
between  them  and  the  whites,  the  stealing  from 
the  Indians  by  the  whites,  and  from  the  whites 
by  the  Indians,  the  filth  and  degradation  every- 
where. 

In  March,  1861,  the  Winnebago  Treaty  made  in 
April,  1859,  whereby  the  Indians  ceded  the  west 
four  townships  of  their  reservation  and  were  to 
be   alloted    an   eighty-acre   farm    to   each   family. 


106 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EARTH  COUNTY. 


was  ratified  by  the  senate.  General  J.  H.  Baker, 
Mr.  Walcott  of  Ind.  and  Mr.  Sample  of  111., 
were  appointed  to  make  the  allotment  of  the 
farms,  which  they  did  during  the  summer  of  this 
year.  It  was  found  that  there  were  650  persons 
entitled  to  farms  under  the  treaty.  The  num- 
ber of  acres  actually  assigned  to  the  Indians 
as  farms  were  45,787,  and  there  was  assigned 
for  the  use  of  the  Indians  besides  10,800 
acres  of  timber  land,  and  8,800  acres  of  prairie. 
This  only  took  up  four  townships  of  their  Keser- 
vation  in  all  and  left  six  townships  to  be  sold 
to  white  settlers,  four  and  two  thirds  of  which 
were  located  in  Blue  Earth  County.  Nothing 
further  was  done  in  the  matter,  as  the  delays 
incident  to  the  distraction  of  the  Civil  War,  to 
the  objection  of  the  Indians  to  such  a  radi- 
cal change  of  their  ancestral  rights  and  customs, 
and  to  the  protests  of  the  citizens,  who  wanted 
the  Indians  removed  all  together,  postponed 
action  until  the  great  Sioux  outbreak  of  the 
next  year  necessitated  the  abrogation  of  the 
whole  treaty. 

During  1861  the  agent's  report  showed  the  num- 
ber of  acres  cultivated  by  the  Winnebagoes  to  have 
been  675;  300  plowed  by  the  department  and 
475  by  the  Indians.  One  hundred  and  twelve 
acres  were  in  wheat,  forty-nine  in  oats,  440  acres 
in  corn,  twenty-two  in  potatoes  and  forty  acres 
in  beans.  There  were  129  pupils  in  the  Indian 
schools. 

The  election  of  Lincoln  and  the  consequent 
change  of  administration,  called  forth  a  wild 
scramble  for  office  among  the  Eepublicans.  D. 
C.  Evans  was  a  candidate  for  the  position  of 
Agent  of  the  Winnebagoes.  Being  a  Blue  Earth 
County  man,  where  the  Agency  was  located,  and 
having,  as  State  Senator,  done  valiant  service  for 
Senator  Wilkinson,  he  was  supposed  to  have  the 
inside  track,  but  he  and  all  the  other  candidates 
from  this  county  were  doomed  to  disappointment, 
and  St.  A.  D.  Balcombe  of  Winona  was  appoint- 
ed. Dr.  M.  R.  Wickersham  was  made  Indian 
physician.  J.  B.  Hubbell,  also,  succeeded  Henry 
Poster  as  trader  at  the  Agency.  Mr.  Poster, 
however,  removed  his  store  into  Mankato  town, 
just  outside  the  Agency  limits,  where  he  con- 
tinued in  business  until  the  departure  of  the 
Indians.     In  April,  1861,  Eev.  John  Kerns  the 


pioneer  M.  B.  preacher  of  the  county  was  ap- 
pointed receiver  of  the  U.  S.  Land  office  at  St. 
Peter. 

The  question  of  removing  the  county  seat 
from  Mankato  to  Garden  City  began  to  be  agi- 
tated by  some  of  the  citizens  of  the  latter  place 
and  a  bill  introduced  in  the  Legislature  this 
year  to  that  effect,  but  it  failed  of  passage. 

The  firing  on  Pt.  Sumpter,  which  heralded  the 
beginning  of  the  Civil  War,  created  a  profound 
sensation  in  Blue  Earth  County  as  elsewhere. 
On  April  14,  1861,  the  steamboat  Pavorite  pass- 
ed down  the  river,  with  80  officers  and  men  of 
the  regular  army  under  Major  Pemberton  from 
Pt.  Eidgely,  whence  they  had  been  ordered  south 
to  help  quell  the  rebellion.  They  were  nearly  all 
southern  men  and  during  the  short  time  the 
boat  stopped  at  Mankato,  the  people  were  greatlj 
disgusted  with  their  outspoken  secession  senti- 
ments. The  government  paid  the  Pavorite  $3,- 
500.00  for  transporting  these  secessionists  to  La 
Crosse,  and  as  much  more  to  carry  them  thence 
tc  Washington,  and  then,  almost  to  a  man, 
they  went  into  the  Confederate  army,  and  Major 
Pemberton  became  the  noted  rebel  general  of 
that  name. 

On  April  23,  1861,  a  company  was  enlisted 
at  Mankato  with  N.  W.  Dickerson  as  Captain, 
Chas.  Reynolds  as  first  Lieutenant  and  J.  E. 
Beatty  as  second  Lieutenant.  Sargeants,  1st,  B. 
P.  Dewey,  3nd,  Thos.  Quayle,  3rd,  Daniel  Ha- 
zen,  4th  S.  D.  Parsons;  Corporals,  1st,  H.  W. 
Lambert,  2nd,  William  H.  Fleining,  3rd  B.  P. 
Williams,  4th,  L.  N.  Holmes,  Bugler,  Ben  M. 
Hazen. 

Capt.  James  Cannon  who  had  belonged  to 
tlie  militia  in  New  York  acted  as  drilling  officer. 
$1,000.00  was  raised  by  subscription  for  the 
families  of  the  volunteers.  It  only  took  three 
days  to  raise  the  company.  About  seventy-five 
of  the  men  were  from  Mankato  -and  the  re- 
maining 25  came  from  Garden  City  and  Shelby. 
The  evening  before  the  departure  of  the  com- 
pany for  Port  Snelling  a  public  meeting  was 
held  at  Masonic  Hall,  Mankato,  to  bid  the  boys 
God  speed,  and  the  ladies  presented  them  with  a 
large  new  flag.  The  next  morning  (July  4th, 
1861)  the  company  formed  in  line  in  front  of 
the    Leech    building,    and    thence    marched    up 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


107 


Front  street  to  the  City  Hall  which  stood  about 
where  the  Hodson  &  Davy  implement  store  is 
now  located  where  they  were  met  by  a  big  pro- 
cession of  Sabbath  school  children  and  a  great 
crowd  of  men  and  women.  Preceded  by  the 
band  and  the  children  in  marching  order,  they 
were  escorted  on  their  way  to  Fort  Snelling 
as  far  as  where  the  Franklin  school  now  stands. 
Here  the  children  formed  open  ranks  and  sang 
while  the  soldiers  led  by  Capt.  Dickerson  mar- 
ched between  them.  A  few  parting  words  from 
the  good  old  pastor,  Eev.  Thompson,  closing  with 
a  prayer.  A  neat  copy  of  the  Bible  was  handed 
to  each  soldier.  Then  came  the  final  parting 
with  many  tears  from  father,  mother,  sister, 
brother,  sweetheart,  wife,  children  and  friends 
and  the  brave  boys  in  blue  were  off  to  the  war, 
many  of  them  never  to  return.  This  is  but 
typical  of  thousands  of  similar  scenes  all  over 
the  land  in  those  trying  days  of  the  great 
Civil  War.  We  of  today  hardly  imagine  the 
terrible    reality    of    those    trying    days. 

This  first  contingent  for  our  great  war 
failed  to  get  into  the  first  Minnesota  regiment, 
as  a  company,  but  a  number  of  individuals  en- 
listed in  it  by  joining  other  companies.  Others 
entered  the  service  later. 

Next  day  (April  16th)  the  Fanny  Harris 
arrived  from  Fort  Eidgely  with  Major  Thos. 
W.  Sherman  and  a  portion  of  his  command, 
the  balance  having  gone  on  foot  across  to  St. 
Peter.  They  were  also,  bound  for  southern  battle 
fields.  On  April  26th  the  Favorite  passed  down 
the  river  with  a  company  of  Artillery  in  com- 
mand of  Maj.  Morris  on  their  way  to  the  seat 
of  waf.  Hardly  30  men  were  now  left  at  Port 
Bidgely.  Perhaps  the  first  to  enlist  from  the 
county  was  Ed.  E.  Parry  who,  on  May  11, 
1861,  was  commissioned  1st  Lieutenant  in  11th 
Regiment,  Regular  Army.  George  Evans  of  Gar- 
den City  was  -probably  the  first  to  enlist  as  a  vol- 
unteer. He  happened  to  be  back  in  Boston  on 
a  visit  when  the  war  broke  out  and  at  once  joined 
the  1st  Massachusetts. 

At  Mankato  the  stars  and  stripes  was  hoisted 
over  both  the  Democratic  and  Eepublican  head- 
quarters, and  in  every  village  through  the 
county  Union  poles  were  raised  with  old  glory 
flying  from  their  tops.     Everywhere  Democrats 


and    Republicans,    men    and    women    were   fired 
with  patriotic  zeal  for  the  union. 

In  September  a  volunteer  cavalry  company 
under  Capt.  B.  F.  Smith,  which  had  been  re- 
cruited at  Vernon,  Garden  City  and  Shelby, 
tendered  its  services  to  the  g(Jvernor.  This  com- 
pany had  been  organized  in  the  Armory  at 
Garden  City  about  the  middle  of  May,  1861,  as 
a  home  guard.  Thirty-seven  members  were  en- 
rolled at  the  first  meeting  and  the  following  offi- 
cers chosen:  Captain  B.  F.  Smith,  1st  Lieut. 
Dr.  J.  W.  B.  Welcome,  2nd  Lieut.  Nathan  Bass; 
3rd  Lieut.  W.  H.  MiUer  of  Shelby;  Ensign  J. 
A.  Reed,  1st  Sargeant,  Edson  Gary,  2nd  Sar- 
gent, Marshall  T.  Fall;  3rd  Sargeant,  M.  T. 
Walbridge,  4th  Sargent,  T.  S.  Hayes;  1st  cor- 
poral, David  Hamlin,  2nd  Corporal  John  A. 
Darling;  3rd  Corporal  B.  A.  Cooper;  4th  Cor- 
poral E.  B.  Evans;  Bugler  George  Harriman; 
Secretary  William  H.  Hills.  About  the  first  of 
June  they  received  fifty  sabers,  belts,  holsters, 
pistols,  etc.,  from  the  state  arsenal  and  spent 
much   time   in    drilling. 

At  Garden  City  there  had  been  a  flourishing 
militia  company  since  the  Inkpadutah  war.  Its 
captain  at  this  time  was  one  Rice.  On  September 
28th  Mrs.  Potter  and  Mrs.  Ray  in  behalf  of 
the  ladies  of  Garden  City  presented  this  com- 
pany with  a  fine  silk  flag  in  anticipation  that 
their  proffered  service  to  their  country  would 
soon  be  accepted. 

On  June  15,  1861,  a  war  meeting  was  held  at 
Shelbyville  and  another  military  company  or- 
ganized, the  officers  of  which  were  Captain 
H.  W.  Oilman,  1st  Lieut.  W.  H.  Blackmer  ;  2nd 
Lieut.  A.  Miller;  3rd.  Lieut.  Daniel  Fagen; 
and  Orderly  Sargent  E.   S.  Knowles. 

On  June  3rd,  1861  the  first  session  of  the  U. 
S.  Court  was  held  at  Mankato  in  the  Masonic 
Hall.  J.  R.  Cleveland  was  appointed  its  first 
U.    S.    Marshall. 

Besides  the  furs  he  captured  the  pioneer  had 
another  important  source  of  revenue  in  the  gin- 
seng root.  The  women  and  children  claimed 
the  right  to  this  branch  of  industry  fully  more 
than  the  men.  In  those  good  old  days  it  was 
no  uncommon  sight  in  the  proper  season  of  the 
year,  to  see  bands  of  women  and  children  with 
h"^  tied  over  their  shoulders  and   armed  with 


108 


HISTOSY  OF  BLUE  EAUTH  COUNTY. 


hoes,  roaming  the  forests  in  quest  of  the  Chin- 
efe  drug.  In  1860,  83,000  pounds  were  gath- 
ered in  Blue  Earth  county,  which  at  eight 
cents  per  pound  netted  the  gatherers  $6,640. 

The  steamboat  trade  of  the  year  was  excel- 
lent. The  Minnesota  Packet  Company  put  upon 
the  river  two  of  the  largest  boats  that  had  yet 
navigated  it,  "The  City  Belle"  and  "The  Fanny 
Harris."  Among  the  other  boats  of  this  season 
were  the  Jennette  Eoberts,  Favorite, '  Eolian,  Al- 
bany  and   Frank   Steel. 

As  indicating  the  progress  of  the  country  in 
horticulture  it  may  be  noted  that  Kobert  Good- 
year, the  principal  gardener  of  that  day  had 
from  12,000  to  15,000  standard  apple  trees.  The 
County  Fair  this  year  was  held  at  South  Bend. 
In  the  early  part  of  the  winter  McCauley  and 
McNainara  leased  their  South  Bend  grist  mill  to 
a  Mr.  Pugh  of  Wisconsin,  and  took  a  lease  short- 
ly afterwards  from  the  "West  Mankato  Com- 
pany" of  the  steam  saw  mill  owned  by  them 
and  located  near  the  Blue  Earth  river  bridge. 

The  great  Civil  War  was  now  on  in  earnest 
and  the  music  of  the  fife  and  drum  resounded 
from  one  end  of  the  country  to  the  other.  The 
fathers  and  the  sons  were  enlisting  and  the  moth- 
ers and  daughters  were  busy  day  and  night  fit- 
ting out  the  soldiers  with  hundreds  of  things 
required  for  their  army  life".  The  whole  land 
was  ablaze  with  patriotism.  The  flag  was  every- 
where in  evidence.  Half  the  men  you  met  were 
dressed  in  uniforms.  Squads  of  men  were  drill- 
ing in  every  village  street,  and  every  country 
crossroad.  Even  the  school  children  were  in- 
fected with  the  war  spirit  and  everywhere 
played    soldiers. 

The  men  of  Col.  B.  F.  Smith's  Cavalry  Com- 
pany from  Vernon  were  mustered  in  on  Nov. 
8th,  1861.  Col.  Smith  himself  was  promoted 
Lieutenant  Colonel  of  the  3rd  regiment.  Wil- 
liam Smith  was  chosen  1st  Lieutenant  and  Na- 
than Bass  2nd  Lieutenant.  At  Mankato  J.  B. 
Tourtellotte  raised  another  company,  called  the 
"Valley   Shooters." 

The  winter  of  1861-2  was  quite  severe  with 
much  snow.  Between  February  28th  and  March 
3rd,  one  of  the  heaviest  snow  storms  in  the 
history  of  the  country  occurred  and  the  land 
was   buried   beneath    mountain    drifts.      It   took 


days  for  companies  of  men  with  ox  teams,  snow 
plows  and  shovels  to  open  the  roads  for  travel. 
The  middle  of  April  1863  saw  in  every  river 
a  tremendous  flood,  and  the  bridges  all  over  the 
county  were  swept  away.  The  government  bridge 
over    the   Blue   Earth    at    Mankato    was    among 
the  rest,  and  no  bridge  was  left  on  this  river  in 
the  county.     The  bridges  on  the  Watonwan  suf- 
fered nearly  as  bad.     The  bridge  over  the  Le 
Sueur    on    the    Agency    road,    which    Mr.    Mc- 
Carty  had  mostly  built  at  his  own  expense,  was 
swept    away.      The    bridges    in    Butternut    Val- 
ley, Shelby  and  Sterling  were  mostly  destroyed. 
The  mills  of  the  county,  also,  suffered  severely. 
The  mill  of  Seward  &  Co.,  in  Mankato,  was  in 
water   to   the   roof.      The   Butterfield   mill   was 
swept  away  bodily,  with  the  warehouses,  wheat 
and  flour.   All  the  mills  were  greatly   damaged. 
Lyman   B.    Stillson   of    Shelbyville,   whose  home 
was    on    the    river    bank,    attempted    to    escape 
in  a  small  boat  with  his  wife  and  four  children. 
When  in  mid  stream  the  boat  was  capsized  by 
the  swift  current  and  three  of  the  children  were 
drowned,   and  the  father   and   mother   and  little 
babe  barely  escaped. 

Another  incident,  which  might  have  resulted 
tragically,  but  which  in  fact  had  a  ludicrous 
ending,  happened  in  the  same  locality  a  few  days 
later.  It  illustrates  how  close  together  some  times 
the  comical  and  serious  events  of  our  life  come. 
A  gentleman  of  Shelby  attempted  to  cross  the 
Blue  Earth  River  during  this  flood  in  a  dug 
out.  When  half  way  over  J;he  boat  upset  and 
the  man  swam  to  some  willows,  whose  tops 
emerged  a  few  feet  above  the  raging  waters. 
Despairing  of  help  he  divested  himself  of  his 
boots  and  all  his  clothing  and  hung  each  gar- 
ment on  the  clump  of  willows.  In  the  pocket 
of  his  pataloons  was  $25.00  in  gold.  He  then 
swam  to  the  bank  of  the  river  opposite  from  his 
home,  as  it  was  the  most  convenient  and  he 
hoped  to  find  a  boat  there  not  far  off.  He  had 
barely  gotten  to  shore  and  was  expelling  the 
water  from  his  nose,  eyes  and  ears  when 
down  the  river  came  a  monster  log  and  made 
straight  for  that  willow  bush  on  which 
hung  out  friend's  apparel  and  his  $25.00,  and 
in  a  few  seconds  the  bush,  clothes,  money, 
boots   and  all  disappeared  before  his  eyes  with 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY.  109 

the  current.  No  boat  could  be  found,  and  nei-  May  27,  1862,  the  ladies  of  Mankato  or- 
ther  the  cold  water  nor  the  cold  air  were  specially  ganized  a  soldiers  Aid  society,  with  Mrs.  Judge 
congenial  to  our  friend  in  his  Adam-like  cos-  Waite  as  president,  Mrs.  H.  Fowler,  Vice  Presi- 
tume.  He  finally  managed  to  reach  a  settler's  dent,  Mrs.  J.  E.  Cleveland,  See}',  and  j\rrs.  C. 
cabin  and  explained  his  embarrassing  predica-  A.  Chapman,  Treasurer.  On  June  5th  this  so- 
ment.  Here  he  obtained  some  clothing  and  ciety  elected  permanent  officers  as  follows:  Presi- 
help  to  reach  his  home.  '  dent,  Mrs.  D.  H.  Tyner;  Vice  Pres.,  Mrs.  A.  D. 
The  first  boat  to  reach  Mankato  this  year  Seward,  Secy,  Mrs.  W.  L.  Coon,  Treas.  Mrs. 
was  the  Albany  on  April  13.  There  was  a  C.  A.  Chapman.  Good  work  was  done  by  it 
good  stage  of  water  nearly  all  summer  and  the  to  help  the  soldiers.  On  July  1,  1862, 
boats  were  kept  busy.  The  arrivals  at  Mankato  the  first  daily  stage  between  Winona  and  Man- 
were,  as  follows:  kato    was    started    by    the    Burbanks    Company. 

From  Below  ^*  ^°°^  ^  ^^^  ^^^  ^  ^^^^  ^°  ^^^^  ^^®  *^^P'      ^^ 

Favorite    9  July  1863  we  note  that  from  Mankato  the  mail 

SieEoberts-:::::::::::::::::::::::;:::::;::  Is  left  for  winona  and  aiso  for  st.  Paui  every 

Clara   Hine    8  week  day  at  4  A.  M. ;  for  Blue  Earth  City  and 

Ari^r"''     2  intermediate    points    three    times    a    week    at    6 

G.  H.   Wilson 1  A.  M.,   and  for  New  Ulm  once  a  week.     Pour 

„  ,  J                                                                      gg  horse    stages    were    used    on    the    main    routes. 

_          '        '  There   were    two    or    three    other   routes    in    the 
J^rom   above: 

Jennette   Roberts    8  co™ty,  starting  from  other  points. 

Favorite    1  On  July  4,   1862    a  big   celebration  was  held 

Clara'^Hine '.'.'.'.'..'.'....'...................      1  ^^    ^^^    village    of    Judson.      Cannon    boomed, 

Pomeroy    1  processions  of  children  and  old  people  marched. 

J,  +  J                                                                       12  -A  picnic  dinner  and  addresses  from  Eevs.  Stine, 
„  ,  ,        .    1       ■  ■,  ,  T.  S.  Gunn  and  Jenkin  Jenkins  were  the  main- 
Period  'of  navigation  April  13  to  July  20.  P^^-^?  °^  ^^^  program. 

As   indicating    the    speed    of    the    boats    it    is  At    Point    Independence    on    Lake    Lura    in 

noted,    that    the    Pavorite    made    the    trip    from  Sterling   another  big  celebration   was  held   with 

St.    Paul    to    Mankato    in    19    hours    including  music    and    orations,    and    a    big   picnic    dinner 

stoppages,  and  returned  in  twelve  hours.     Com-  served   by  the  ladies   of   Sterling   and   Mapleton 

petition    between    the    boats    cut    the    passenger  to   some   five   hundred  people.      At   Tivoli   Hon. 

rate  to   St.   Paul  to  fifty  cents  for  a  few  days  J-  J-  Thornton  spoke  to  an  immense  crowd  and 

in    June.      By    July    over     62,000    bushels    of  a  dinner  was  served.     At  Mankato  Eev.   Smith 

wheat    was    carried    by    them    from     Mankato  orated.     The    Saxhorn    band    and    the    Sunday 

alone.     The  usual  rate  was  five  cents  per  bushel.  School  children  were  features  of  the  parade. 

The    passage    of   the    Homestead    Act    greatly  The  patriotic  spirit  was  intense  in  the  land  in 

stimulated   immigration   to   our   county  in    spite  those  days  of  the  great  war.     During  the  latter 

of  the  drain  of  the  Civil  war.     In  June  of  this  part  of  July  and  the  first  part  of  August,  1862, 

year  a  great  many  settlers   located  in  Danville,  there   was   great   activity   in   fevery  tovni   in   the 

'    Mapleton,    Sterling,    Ceresco,    Lincoln    and   But-  county  to  recruit  men   for  the  war  to   fill   the 

ternut   Valley.     About    seventy   homestead    loca-  quotas    called    for    by    the    government.    T.    S. 

tions  were  made  on  Willow  Creek  in  our  county  Slaughter,  Jerome  Dane,  John  E.  Eoberts,  Gen- 

during  the  spring  and  summer.  eral    James    H.    Baker    and    many    others    were 

In  April,  1862,  Henry  Shaubut,  J.  C.  Eausch  holding    war    meeitings    in    nearly    every    school 

and  Col.  S.  D.  Shaw  were  appointed  to  appraise  house  and  church  in  the  county,   and  hundreds 

the  school  lands  of  the  county,  which  duty  they  of  men  were  enlisted  for  the  7th,   8th   and   9th 

performed    during   the   summer.  Minnesota   regiments. 


CHAPTER  XIII. 

THE  GEEAT  SIOIJX  MASSACEE  OP  1862- 

THB  MANKATO  AND  SOUTH  BEND 

COMPANIES    AT    NEW   TJLM. 


On  August  15th  1862  most  of  the  re- 
cruits from  Blue  Earth  County  left  their  place 
of  rendezvous,  Mankato,  for  Ft.  Snelling.  So  en- 
grossed were  the  people  everywhere  in  the 
great  war  that  they  never  thought  of  any  peril 
at  their  own  doors.  They  did  not  realize, 
when  the  soldiers,  and  the  able  bodied  men  of 
every  community  and  all  the  implements  of 
war,  were  being  sent  to  the  southland  to  save 
the  Union,  that  they  were  leaving  their  own 
homes  defenseless  in  the  presence  of  a  terrible 
danger.  The  Sioux  Indians  had  been  rest- 
less for  some  time.  The  encroachments  of  civil- 
ization on  barbarism  is  ever  attended  with  fric- 
tion. To  see  their  lands  being  appropriated 
by  the  whites  and  themselves  being  driven  out 
naturally  stirred  up  their  envy  and  hatred. 
Then  the  advantages  which  a  stronger  race  is 
sure  to  take  of  the  weaker  one  fell  to  their  lot 
in  the  greed  and  dishonesty  of  the  trader,  the 
whisky  vendor,  and  the  gambler.  Then  the 
government  did  not  live  up  to  its  promises, 
so  that  the  Indian  was  not  receiving  the  annui- 
ties due  him,  partly  through  the   dishonesty   of 


have  been  taken  away,  to  wreck  their  vengeance, 
regain  their  ancestral  home,  and  reap  a  wonder- 
ful booty,  (for  to  the  Indian  the  abodes  of  the 
whites  were  full  of  good  things).  Under  the 
circumstances  it  needed  but  a  spark  to  cause 
explosion,  and  on  August  17th,  1862,  that 
was  furnished.  Half  a  dozen  hot  headed 
young  bucks,  while  at  Acton,  Meeker  county 
got  into  a  quarrel  with  a  whisky  trader  and 
shot  him  and  two  or  three  of  his  family  and 
returned  that  night  to  their  relatives  and  friends 
on  the  agency.  A  hurried  council  of  the  lower 
Sioux  bands  was  called  at  midnight,  and  early 
next  morning  the  awful  massacre  began.  Before 
noon  the  small  village  of  government  officials 
and  traders  designated  the  "Lower  Agency," 
had  been  sacked  and  burned  and  its  inhabi- 
tants butchered,  and  Captain  Marsh  with  half 
the  little  Et.  Eidgely  garrison  had  been  anni- 
hilated in  an  ambush,  and  before  the  sun  had 
set  on  that  awful  day  the  carnage  had  spread 
over  the  country  for  many  miles. 

The   story  of  the  massacre  is  not  within  the 
scope   of   this   history   except   in    so    far   as   the 


agents,   and  partly  through  careless   delays.   The  same   pertains   to   Blue  Earth   County, 
payment  due  the   Sioux  in  June  1862  had  not         The  first  news   of  the  outbreak  reached   New 

been   received    on    August    18th    and    the    delav  Ulm  a  little  after  the  noon  hour  through  some 

had    caused    the    Indians    great    suffering    and  refugees.     William  W.  Paddock  happened  to  be 

hardships.       With    hundreds    of    ugly    savages,  there    at    the   time    and,    finding    a    Erenchman 

whose    chief    glory    was    war,    massed    upon    an  going  to  St.   Paul  with  an  extra  pony,  he  rode 

agency,   all   armed   with   guns   and   ammunition,  with  him   as   far  as   Nicollet,   thence  walked   to 

to  the  use  of  which  they  had  been  trained  from  the    farm    of    Evan    Bowen,    afterwards    sheriff 

their  youth,  ill  disposed  towards  the  whites  and  of    our    county.      Mr.    Bowen    hitched    his    team 

with    an    opportunity    now,    that    all    defenses  to    a   wagon    and    drove   Mr.    Paddock   through 

111 


112 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


.Tudson  and  South  Bend  to  Mankato  with  the 
first  report.  The  news  was  so  startling  that 
many  at  iirst  would  not  believe  it.  Then  there 
had  been  so  many  false  rumors  of  Indian  out- 
breaks that  people  were  the  more  skeptical. 
Soon  after  Mr.  Paddock  had  brought  the  re- 
port to  Mankato  the  fire  bell  was  rung  and  a 
public  meeting  was  held  to  discuss  the  situa- 
tion. When  the  ISTew  Ulm  people  realized  from 
the  fleeing  settlers  the  reality  and  extent  of  the 
massacre,  they  dispatched  three  of  their  citi- 
zens in  a  light  wagon  to  Mankato  for  help, 
where  they  arrived  late  in  the  evening,  and 
made  their  report  to  the  meeting.  As  many 
still  doubted  for  want  of  definite  information, 
it  was  decided  to  send  five  or  six  men  to  New 
Ulm  to  learn  more  of  the  particulars.  Samuel 
Tate  and-  three  or  four  others  started  soon 
after  midnight.  At  day  break  James  Shoe- 
maker and  Dr.  McMahan  followed  in  a  buggy. 
When  the  latter  had  gone  just  beyond  Crisp's 
store  in  Judson,  they  saw  some  persons  on  horse- 
back coming  toward  them  at  full  gallop  and 
waving  their  arms.  Fearing  they  might,  be 
Indians  Mr.  Shoemaker  and  the  doctor  turned 
back  and  drove  at  full  speed ,  to  Crisp's  store. 
The  party  proved  to  be  Sam  Tate  and  his  com- 
panions. Near  the  Big  Cottonwood  they  had 
met  some  refugees  who  had  told  them  harrow- 
ing tales  of  what  they  had  just  seen  and  that 
the  Indians  were  coming  close  at,  hand  killing 
and  burning ,  all  before  them.  Mr.  Tate  and  his 
companions,  were  panic  stricken,  and  were  re- 
turning to  Mankato  as  fast  as  their  horses  could 
take  them. . 

A  company  had  been  partially  recruited 
Monday  .night  at  Mankato,  Tuesday  as  one 
report  after  another  reached  our  county  seat, 
bringing  more  and  more  details  of  the  dreadful 
tragedy,  the  people  became  thoroughly  scared 
and  began  to  realize  how  desperate  the  situation 
was.  All  labor  ceased  and.  the  anxiety  was  in- 
tense. Men  and  women  gathered  in  groups  to 
discuss  the  awful  situation  and  to  hear  the  latest 
loports.  This  was  so  all  over  the  county.  The 
farmers  deserted  their  harvest  fields  and  gathered, 
with  their  families  into  some  one  cabin  in 
the  neighborhood  for  protection,  others  hurried, 
to  tlie  nearest  village  to  learn  the  latest  news. 


At  Mankato  the  day  was  spent  in  recruiting 
men  for  the  company  to  send  to  the  aid  of  New 
Ulm,  and  in  gathering  guns  and  ammunition. 
In  the'  evening  another  mass  meeting  was  held 
at  Higgins  Hall  and  the  organization  of  the 
volunteer  company  perfected.  The  momentous 
question  was  whether  this  company  should  go 
to  New  Ulm  or  stay  to  protect  Mankato.  Many 
advocated  the  latter  course,  claiming  that  their 
first  duty  was  to  protect  their  own  families.  The 
Winnebagoes  were  close  to  their  doors  and 
Tv^ere  holding  war  dances  and  on  the  point  of 
joining  the  Sioux  in  the  outbreak.  Every  hour 
^\■as  bringing  fresh  rumors  of  the  strange  be- 
ll a\'ior  of  this  tribe.  Then  there  was  noth- 
ing to  prevent  the .  Sioux  from  passing  by 
New  Ulm  after  getting  the  armed  men  shut  in 
there,  and  fall  upon  the  defenseless  women  aijd 
children  of  Mankato  and  South  Bend.  On  the 
other  hand  B.  P.  Freeman,  John  F.  Meagher, 
William  Bierbauer  and  others  argued,  that  if 
all  the  towns  simply  attempted  to  withstand 
ihe  Indians  singly,  they  would  be  attacked  one 
by  one,  and  all  would  perish.  That  singly 
no  town  could  stand  such  a  force,  and  that  thb 
only  way  the  whites  could  hope  to  check  the 
onslaught  of  the  savages  was  to  mass  their 
strength  against  them,  and  that  New  Ulm,  as 
the  first  frontier  town,  was  logically  the  strate- 
gic point,,  which  the  whites  must  hold  .  at  any 
cost.  Fortunately  for  our  county  and  the  state 
the  latter  argument  prevailed,  and  the  majority 
voted  to  proceed  next  morning  to  New  Ubn. 

It  was  determined  to  start  at  four  o'clock 
in  the  morning,  but  about  midnight  the  mill 
of  Seward  &  Co.  took  fire.  The  clang  of  the 
fire  bell  frightened  the  people  greatly  for  every- 
body thought  that  the  Indians  had  come.  The 
men  rushed  for  their  guns,  the  women-  and 
children  cried  in  their  terror  and,  even  when  it 
was  discovered  that  the  alarm  was  due  to  the 
mill  being  on  fire,  the  people  were  afraid  to 
go  to  it,  suspecting  that  the  fire  had  been  set 
by  the  Indians  as  a  ruse  to  draw  them  away 
from  their  homes  into  an  ambush.  So  the  mill 
burned  to  the  ground  with  out  much  effort 
having  been  made  to  save  it.  There  was  not 
much  sleep  that  night  and  by  morning  many  of 
the    people    were    too    exhausted    to    take    the 


oE>  M flpT-STfoiv  &c e-t oo U. 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


113 


early  start  for  New  Ulm,  and  some,  because 
of  the  pleadings  of  their  terrified  families,  gave 
up  going.  Capt.  Bierbauer  and  most  of  the 
company  started  soon  after  daybreak.  Two  or 
three  hours  later  John  F.  Meaghsr,  0.  0.  Pit- 
cher and  others  followed,  riding  as  far  as  South 
Bend  with  the  three  New  Ulm  delegates,  who 
had  come  for  help  the  day  before,  and  thence 
to  New  Ulm  in  a  wagon  with  Morris  Lewis 
of  Cambria.  The  roster  of  the  Mankato  com- 
pany was  as  follows: 

Wm.   Bierbauer,   captain. 
John  F.  Meagher,  first  lieutenant. 
Henry  Ruegg,   second   lieutenant. 
James    Shoemaker,    commissary    sergeant. 
J.    C.    Haup,    orderly    sergeant. 
Henry   Vahle,    second   orderly   sergeant. 
Samuel    D.    ShaWj    third    sergeant. 
Leonard    Johnson,    fourth    sergeant. 
Chas.  Heilborn,  first  corporal. 
E.  P.  Freeman,  second  corporal. 
Petei    Krost,   third    corporal. 
Benjamin     Stannard,    fourth     corporal. 
James   R.    McMahan,    surgeon. 

Privates : 

Andrews,   George. 
Andrews,   W.    T. 
Andrus,   Truman    F. 
Andrews,  F.  M. 
Ash,  F.   M. 
Ash,  Rev.   J.   R. 
Burgess,   J.    C. 
Bennett,    Chas. 
Burns,  Patrick. 
Bigler,  Jacob. 
Bierbauer,   Jacob. 
Blatt,   Philip. 
Bandy,  T.  B. 
Bowles,   James. 
Clough,  M. 
Cheney,  W.  H. 
Cheney,    B.    F. 
Cheney,    John    W. 
Canfield,   David    A. 
Collins,   A.    M. 
Coffin,  B.  Y. 
Chilos,    John    C. 
Dole,    Benedict. 
Davis,   Thos.   Y. 
Fassatt,   John. 
Freundle,  Adam. 
Fitterer,    Theodore. 
Godfried,   Chester. 
Gray,  George. 
Haas,  Joseph. 
Heinze,   Chas. 
Houghton,   Newell   E. 
Hamlin,    Micheal. 
Hunt,  C.  N. 
Jefferson,  Adam. 
Jones,   John    C. 
Judge,  H.  L. 
Koek,  E.  J. 
iCron,    Clements. 
T.auer,   Wm. 
Lilley,  Geo. 


Long,   Wm. 
Lee,   Lars. 
McMurtie.    Hugh. 
Jlorris,  Wm. 
Moser,    Frank. 
Mycue,  Elijah  J. 
ISTicholson,    John. 
Nicholson,   Wm.   A, 
Oberle,    Xavier. 
Osterwald,   H. 
Power,    John. 
Pfaff,   Peter. 
PhilippSj    Anton. 
Porter,   Geo.  W. 
Porter,    C.    L. 
Porter,  Dan.  W. 
Plushy,   John. 
Patches,    David. 
Roberts,  Geo.  A. 
Reif,    Emanuel. 
Roos,    George. 
Roos,   Chris.- 
Reiger,   Thos. 
Rockey,  W.  fl. 
Soleate,    Geo. 
Smith,  Rev.   A.   G. 
Shaw.  C.  B. 
Shields,    John. 
Tyler,    Aaron. 
Tonner,    Sarvais. 
Taylor,    S.    B. 
Tyner,  Daniel  H. 
Trask,    J.    W. 
T^lman,  Peter. 
\'pigel,   Chas. 
^'an    Patten,   Alfred   S. 
\\  agoner,   Oscar  F. 
Wiscaver.    John. 
Wood,  Alexander. 
White,    Asa. 
Wigley,    Richard. 


Many  of  above  did  not  join  the  company  un- 
til they  reached  New  Ulm.  Nearly  all  such 
were  from  elsewhere  in  the  county  than  Man- 
kato, and  some  were  members  of  the  South 
Bend  company,  who  had  stayed  at  New  Ulm, 
v,hen  their  company  left,  and  then  joined  the 
Mankato  company.  A  few  members  of  the 
Mankato  company  returned  with  the  South 
Bend  company  before  the  battle  and  their 
names  dropped  from  the  roll.  Of  this  number 
were  Henry  Shaubut  and  0.  0.  Pitcher;  others, 
like  Father  Sommereizen  never  joined.  The  good 
priest  remained  during  the  whole  seige  minis- 
tering the  consolations  of  religion  to  the  sick, 
the  wounded,  the  dying,  and  the  bereaved. 

Another  company  \\as  formed  at  South  Bend, 
which  on  this  same  Wednesday  (Aug.  20)  fol- 
lowed the  Mankato  company  to  New  Ulm.  The 
roster  of  this  company  has  been  lost  and  we 
can  only  give  a  partial  list  of  its  members,  from 
the  memory  of  two  or  three  survivors. 

John  Zimmerman,  captain. 
D.    C.   Evans,   first   lieutenant. 
Jehile    Cheney,    second   lieutenant. 

Some  other  members : 


Daniel    Buck. 
John  R.   Roberts. 
Wm.    J.    Thomas. 
Ehen    P.    Davis. 
Wm.    Jones. 
Hugh  H.  Edwards. 
Paul    Eckstrom. 
Wm.   J.   :\IcCauley. 
jMiner    Porter. 
David  P.  Davis. 
Edwin   Parnell. 
John   S.   Davis. 
George    Gilley. 
Joshua  Wigley. 
Herman    Hegle. 
John    C.    Jones. 
David   T.   Davis. 
John   S.   Jones. 
Hugh  Edwards. 
J.   W.   Trask. 
Peterson. 
•T.    Fessemeyer. 
Morris    Lewis. 
Lewis   D.  Lewis. 
Lars   Lee. 
Owen   Edwards. 


Sleepier. 
Wm.  D.  Jones. 
David  S.  Davis. 
Samuel    Foster. 
Rben  P.  Davis. 
Jonas    Mohr. 
Chas.    Tidland. 
Richard   Wigley. 
Wm.    R.    Lewis. 
Wm.   E.   Davis. 
James  Morgan. 
J.   W.    Trask. 
Alfred    S.    Van    Patten. 
David   Thomas. 
Edward    Dackins. 
Benton   T.   Foster. 
David   P.   Davis,   Jr. 
Wm.    J.    Jones. 
William    Edwards. 
Richard  Thomas. 
Peter  Bandy. 
Wm.   P.  Jones. 
David   J.   Davies,   Jr. 
Rev.   Jenkin   Jenkins. 
James   Edwards. 


Seventy-three  men  in  all.  Many  of  above 
wore  not  residents  of  South  Bend  but  joined 
the  company  in  Cambria  and  at  New  Ulm,  hav- 
ing gone  there  independently. 

The  arrival  of  these  two  companies  with  two 
other  large  companies,   one  from   St.   Peter   and 


114 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUB  BAETH  COUNTY. 


the  other  from  Le  Sueur,  besides  a  large  number 
of  others,  who  came  singly  and  in  small  groups 
from  Blue  Earth,  Brown  and  Nicollet  Counties 
gave  New  Ulm  an  army  of  three  hundred  and 
fifty  to  four  hundred  armed  men,  who  under 
the  generalship  of  Judge  Plandrau,  were  sys- 
tematically disposed  so  as  to  make  an  efEective 
defense  of  the  town. 

A  few  Indians  had  attacked  the  town  Tues- 
day afternoon,  but  luckily  Sheriff  Boardman  of 
Nicollet  County  with  sixteen  well  armed  follow- 
ers arrived  just  in  time  to  help  the  New  Ulm 
people  repulse  this  first  attack.  The  main  at- 
tack was  now  expected  every  liour,  but  did  not 
come,  and  the  delay  puzzled  the  whites.  The 
South  Bend  company  became  uneasy  for  fear 
that  the  Indians  had  passed  by  New  Ulm  and, 
having  formed  a  junction  with  the  Winnebagoes, 
were  now  perhaps  butchering  their  women  and 
children,  whom  they  had  left  at  home  almost 
defenseless.  They  accordingly  on  .Thursday 
afternoon  returned  home.  The  Mankato,  St. 
Peter  and  Le  Sueur  companies  remained  and 
at  last  on  Saturday  (Aug.  23rd)  the  critical 
point  in  the  Sioux  war  was  reached.  Heretofore 
most  of  Little  Crow's  army  had  been  scattered 
over  the  country,  killing  and  plundering  the 
settlers.  But  at  last  all  west  of  New  Ulm  had 
been  completely  devastated  and  Little  Crow  was 
able  to  concentrate  his  warriors  into  an  army 
four  or  five  hundred  strong,  and  march  them 
against  the  fii-st  important  village  of  the  pale 
face.  Could  he  take  it,  was  the  crucial  question 
of  that  day,  upon  the  answer  to  which  depended 
^he  fate  of  most  of  the  valley  below.  The  battle 
began  soon  after  9  o'clock  in  the  forenoon  and 
raged  all  day  until  nightfall.  The  whites  had 
concentrated  their  entire  force  within  the  four 
center  blocks  of  town,  building  barricades  ac- 
cross  the  streets  and  alleys  with  lumber,  wood 
and  boxes,  while  all  the  buildings  outside  ihis 
fortification,  192  in  all,  had  been  burned  by 
the  Indians  or  the  whites.  From  first  to  last 
the  Mankato  company  rendered  efficient  service. 
Time  and  again  they  repulsed  the  charges 
inade  by  the  savage  foe.  In  one  of  these  onsets 
Newell  Houghton  of  Winnebago  Agency  was  kill- 
ed. Wm.  Nickolson  of  Cambria  was,  also,  killed 
and  Benton   T.   Foster  of  Judson  was  mortally 


woujided,  and  died  two  days  later.  Among  the 
iyounded  were:  Geo.  Andrews,  F.  M.  Andrews, 
Patrick  Burns,  Adam  Freundle,  Theodore  Fit- 
tt-rer,  and  John  Fassatt. 

Discouraged  by  their  many  repulses  and  find- 
ing the  whites  better  fortified  than  ever,  and 
fearning  from  their  scouts  that  there  was  a 
great  army  under  General  Sibley  coming  against 
them,  the  Indians  raised  the  seige  Sunday  mom- 
ing  and  retreated  up  the  valley.  The  whites  at 
first  were  puzzled  by  this  move  on  the  part  of 
the  savages  and  thought  it  might  be  a  merf 
ruse  to  draw  them  away  from  their  fortifica- 
tions. 

Let  us  now  return  to  Blue  Earth  county.  On 
Tuesday  and  Wednesday  (Aug.  19th  and  20th) 
the  farmers  all  over  the  county  abandoned 
their  partly  harvested  fields,  their  stock  and 
their  homes  and  fled  with  their  families  to 
South  Bend,  Mankato,  Garden  City,  Vernon 
or  Shelbyville,  "Puring  the  week  a  few  of  the 
armed  men  with  guns,  would  steal  back  home  to 
look  after  the  stock  or  to  get  some  food  or  cloth- 
ing for  the  family.  Otherwise  the  whole  country 
was  deserted  and  the  villages  were  crowded  with 
refugees.  In  some  cases  a  neighborhood  of  a 
dozen  families  would  crowd  themselves  into  one 
little  log  cabin.  At  South  Bend  rude  barricades 
v/ere  constructed  about  the  center  of  town  and 
the  stone  grist  mill,  the  hotel,  and  every 
other  building  packed  with  the  families  of  the 
fleeing  settlers.  The  men  were  all  pressed  into 
service  as  guards  and  armed  with  such  weapons 
as  could  be  found.  Those  without  guns 
were  provided  with  axes  or  s.cythes.  At  Garden 
City,  Vernon  and  Shelbyville  companies  of  home 
guards  were  formed  and  means  taken  for  de- 
fense. At  Garden  City  a  meeting  was  called  the 
Tuesday  morning  after  the  outbreak  and  it  was 
determined  to  send  a  squad  of  ten  mounted  vol- 
unteers to  New  Ulm  to  ascertain  the  truth  about 
the  matter.  The  party  consisted  of  Bd.  Potter, 
who  was  made  captain,  L.  S.  Terry,  Sherman 
Finch,  C.  C.  Wasburn,  Bliphalet  Smith,  and  five 
others.  They  reached  New  Ulm  late  that  aft- 
ernoon just  after  the  first  attack  on  the  town. 
The  sight  of  the  many  mutilated  dead,  seven- 
teen in  one  room,  brought  in  from  the  country, 
convinced  them   of   the  seriousness   of  the  situ- 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


115 


ation.  The  village  was  in  the  wildest  ■  excite- 
ment all  night.  In  the  morning  the  guards 
would  not  permit  our  party  to  leave  town.  After 
consulting  with  those  in  authority  two  of  their 
number  were  finally  permitted  to  carry  back 
the  report  to  Garden  City,  but  they  were  not 
oven  permitted  an  escort  across  the  Big  Cotton- 
wood. Messrs.  Terry  and  Smith  were  the  two 
chosen  for  the  dangerous  mission.  They  reached 
Garden  City  by  noon  and  the  report  they 
brought  of  what  they  had  seen  and  heard  in- 
duced many  of  the  people  of  Garden  City, 
Vernon  and  Shelby ville  to  leave  the  country. 

On  Saturday,  Aug.  23rd,  the  smoke  of  the 
burning  buildings  at  Xew  Ulm  could  be  plain- 
ly seen  miles  away,  and  everybody  thought  the 
town  had  been  taken  and  was  being  burned  by 
the  Indians.  This  created  a  panic  at  Garden 
City,  and  elsewhere  and  the  main  retreat  be- 
gan. The  place  of  rendezvous  was  on  the  site 
of  Old  Mapleton  where  a  great  camp  was 
formed  of  all  the  people  in  the  south  half  of  the 
county.  They  did  not  all  get  to  the  rendezvous 
at  once,  but  the  people  of  one  neighborhood 
would  first  flee  in  the  morning  to  that  next  to 
them  on  the  east  or  south,  while  those  to  the 
west  and  north  would  occupy  their  deserted 
homes  by  night. 

On  Tuesday,  Aug.  19th,  a  company  had  been 
recruited  from  Garden  City,  Vernon,  Shelby- 
ville  and  Winnebago  City,  of  which  H.  W.  Holly 
of  the  latter  place  was  made  Captain  and  Dr. 
Welcome  of  Garden  City  Ist  Lieutenant.  M.  B. 
Eaynes  and  Noble  G.  Boot  of  Vernon  were  mem- 
bers, but  we  have  not  been  able  to  learn  the  names 
of  the  others.  Each  provided  himself  with  a  gun 
of  some  sort  and  a  horse  and  all  met  on  Wed- 
nesday at  Winnebago  City.  Thence  they  started 
early  the  next  morning  upon  a  scouting  expedi- 
tion to  the  west  camping  the  first  night  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  present  village  of  Sherburne, 
turning  thence  nortlicast  they  reached  Madelia 
Friday  night,  where  the  people  had  built  a  good 
stockade.  Next  day  they  saw  the  smoke  of  the 
burning  of  New  Ulm.  By  the  time  they 
reached  Garden  City  they  found  it  entirely  de- 
serted. 

Passing  on  to  Vernon  they  found  its  inhabi- 
tants   gone    but    the    rearmost    portion    of    the 


Garden  City  refugees  had  taken  their  place  and 
were  occupying  their  homes.  Many  of  the  peo- 
ple did  not  stop  at  the  big  gathering  place  at 
Old  Mapleton  but  passed  on,  some  to  Albert  Lea, 
some  to  Owatonna,  and  others  to  Iowa  and  Wis- 
consin. The  great  bulk  of  the  inhabitants  how- 
ever, did  not  go  further  than  this  rendezvous. 
A  stirring  and  picturesque  scene  was  this  great 
camp,  especially  towards  evening.  The  wagons 
had  been  arranged  in  a  great  circle  and  inside 
big  camp  fires  were  built  for  cooking  and 
warmth  around  Avhich  were  congregated  the  men, 
women  and  children.  The  great  herds  of  cattle 
belonging  to  many  households,  agitated  by  the 
strange  surroundings,  kept  up  a  constant  bellow- 
ing. The  news  of  the  evacuation  of  New  Ulm 
came  nearly  creating  a  panic  among  our  refu-. 
gees.  A  meeting  of  the  men  was  held  at  which 
the  question  of  fieeing  the  country  was  warmly 
discussed.  Finally  MaJ.  E.  P.  Evans  volunteered 
to  drive  to  Mankato,  learn  the  exact  situaition 
and  bring  back  report  at  once.  This  was  done, 
and  the  ^Major's  report  was  so  favorable,  (the 
Indians  had  retreated  from  New  Ulm ;  Sibley 
with  a  big  army  was  at  St.  Peter  starting 
west  against  the  foe;  Dane's  company  was 
stationed  at  Lake  Crystal;)  that  most  of  the 
settlers  returned  to  their  homes. 

At  Mankato  every  man  was  mustered  into 
service  and  pickets  kept  stationed  around  the 
town  in  every  direction.  The  three  story  stone' 
liuildings  of  Leech  and  White  and'  Marks  were 
well  fortified  by  nailing  four  inch  oak  planks 
over  the  windows  and  cutting  loop  holes  for 
shooting,  barricades  were  built  across  the  streets 
and  along  the  levee  with  cordwood,  salt  barrels, 
dvygoods  boxes,  logs  and  planks.  On  Friday 
afternoon  (Aug.  23)  company  E  of  the  9th 
Minnesota,  108  men,  who  had  left  Mankato 
just  one  week  before  to  enlist  at  Ft.  Snelling, 
returned.  They  had  sealed  order,  which  when 
opened  directed  them  to  seize  at  once  all  the 
horses  they  needed  from  the  people.  This  they 
did  and  there  was  a  lively  time  between  them 
and  all  owners   of  horseflesh  that   afternoon. 

Hon.  T.  M.  Pugh  nf  South  Bend  was  driving 
down  Front  street  in  a  buggy  behind  a  fine 
horse  and  his  best  girl  was  sitting  beside  him. 
Jim  Hoosier  and  two  or  three  other  soldier  boys 


116 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


he  knew  stepped  out  into  the  street  to  greet 
him,  and  before  Mr.  Pugh  realized  what  was 
up,  the  horse  was  slipped  out  of  its  harness  and 
gone  before  his  astonished  gaze,  while  he  still  sat 
in  the  buggy  holding  the  lines.  Some  managed 
to  hide  their  horses  in  the  woods  and  brush, 
but  the  soldiers  soon  found  enough  to  supply 
their  need.  Their  -orders,  also,  directed  them 
to  take  all  the  food,  feed,  and  other  things 
necessary  and  give  the  owners  receipts  therefore. 
This  was  a  military  necessity  as  the  company 
had  been  rushed  back  without  any  supplies. 

As  it  was  rumored  that  the  Indians  were  burn- 
ing houses  west  of  Lake  Crystal,  Lieut.  Eoberts 
and  forty-eight  mounted  men  were  dispatched 
thither  that  afternoon.  They  camped  in  a  va- 
•  cant  house  on  the  south  shore  of  the  lake  for 
three  or  four  days. 

On  this  same  Saturday  occurred  as  we  have 
seen  the  battle  of  Kew  Ulm.  In  the  afternoon 
the  smoke  of  the  burning  town  could  be  seen 
from  the  northwest  portion  of  the  County,  and 
by  night  the  glare  of  the  fire  against  the  sky 
was  plainly  visible  from  South  Bend,  Mankato 
and  even  St.  Clair  and  Mapleton.  It  created 
consternation  everywhere  for  it  was  supposed 
that  the  Indians  had  captured  the  town  and 
were  burning  it.  It  was  a  night  that  our  old 
settlers  will  never  forget.  The  excitement,  the 
terror  and  the  grief  beggars  description,  for  al- 
most every  family  had  some  relative  or  friend 
among  the  defenders  of  iSTew  Ulm,  and  every- 
body expected  the  savage  horde  would  attack 
them  before  morning. 

At  the  Winnebago  Agency  the  excitement 
among  the  Indians  and  the  whites  had  been 
intense  since  the  outbreak  occurred.  A  number 
of  the  Winnebagoes  with  Little  Priest,  one  of 
their  chiefs,  were  visiting  the  Sioux,  when  the 
massacre  started,  and  there  was  strong  suspicion 
that  they  took  some  hand  in  it.  They  returned 
Wednesday  morning  and  were  chased  through 
Cambria  and  Butternut  Valley  by  Wm.  E.  Lew- 
is, Lewis  D.  Lewis,  James  Morgan  and  one  or  two 
others,  but  finally  reached  the  Agency  that  day, 
and  greatly  added  to  the  agitation  by  their  re- 
ports. Secret  councils  were  held  almost  con- 
tinually to  which  no  white  men  were  admitted. 
Some  of  the  older  chiefs,  who  had  friends  among 


the  whites,  advised  them  to  send  their  families 
away,  as  the  young  men  were  strongly  inclined 
TO  Join  the  Sioux.  Everything  boded  mischief. 
They  had  organized  a  Soldier  Lodge,  which  met 
in  a  large  wigwam  ma4e  of  mats  weaved  from 
rushes.  Meetings  were  held  here  almost  con- 
stantly, and  none  of  the  whites  or  half  breeds 
were  permitted  to  enter.  The  traders,  Messrs. 
Hubbell  and  Hawley,  on  Thursday  moming, 
upon  the  advise,  of  chief  Baptiste,  sent  their 
families  to  Owatonna.  On  Friday,  Aug.  32nd, 
Mr.  Hubbell  was  dispatched  by  Mr.  Balcombe, 
llie  agent,  to  Wilton  to  get  a  company  of  citi- 
zens to  come  to  the  agency  to  help  keep  the 
peace.  Col.  Ide  and  a  few  others  drove  back  at 
once  with  Mr.  Hubbell.  Others  followed  next 
morning  until  a  company  of  forty  or  fifty 
were  gathered  there  which  had  some  quieting  ef- 
fect on  the  Indians.  Soon  after  the  evacuation  of 
New  Ulm  Capt.  Edgerton  arrived  at  the  Agency 
with  a  large  company  of  volunteers  and  the 
Wilton  men  returned  home.  Most  of  the  Winne- 
bago chiefs  and  headmen,  such  as  Baptiste,  Big 
Bear,  Co-No-Hutta-Kaw,  Little  Decoria,  Tall 
Decoria,  Young  Frenchman  and  others  remained 
faithful  to  the  whites,  but  some  of  the  chiefs, 
like  Little  Priest,  Winneshiek,  and  Short  Wing 
and  a  large  number  of  young  bucks  were  strong- 
ly inclined  to  join  the  Sioux,  and  undoubtedly 
would  have  done  so,  had  the  latter  been  success- 
ful at  Few  Ulm. 

On  Sunday,  Aug.  24th,  Mankato  and  South 
Bend  were  put  under  marshall  law,  with  Depu- 
ty U.  S.  Marshall  G.  K.  Cleveland  in  command, 
assisted  by  A.  N.  Dukes  and  J.  J.  Porter  as 
deputies.  To  stop  the  men  from  running  away 
and  leaving  the  country  defenseless,  no  one  was 
permitted  to  pass  the  guard  line  without  a  pass. 
F^our,  meat,  cattle,  potatoes  and  all  food  com- 
modities were  seized  where  ever  found  without 
pay  to  feed  the  people.  The  right  of  private 
property  had  to  give  way  before  the  right  of 
public  necessity. 

The  same  Sunday  morning  (Aug.  24)  Lieut. 
Eoberts  dispatched  James  Hoosier,  at  his  own 
request,  to  learn  the  condition  of  things  at  New 
Ulm.  He  arrived  there  safely  just  after  the 
departure  of  the  Indians.  A  company  of  seven- 
ty-four men  from  St.  Peter,  under  Capt.  E.  St. 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


117 


Julian  Cox,  and  another  company  of  forty-eight 
men  from  Henderson,  under  Lieut.  Adam  Buck 
arrived  there,  also,  about  noon.  As  there  were 
only  four  blocks  of  the  town  left  in  which  to 
shelter  about  2,000  people,  and  the  food  supply 
was  almost  exhausted,  it  was  determined  to  evac- 
uate the  place  next  morning  and  take  the  peo- 
ple to  South  Bend  and  Mankato,  where  they 
could  be  fed  and  have  more  room.  Hon.  H.  A. 
Swift  and  Mr.  Ackerman  of  St.  Peter  arrived 
at  Mankato  at  noon  with  the  first  message  of 
the  evacuation.  They  were  soon  followed  by 
l)r.  McMahan,  who  had  been  dispatched  ahead 
to  prepare  a  place  for  the  fifty-two  wounded 
persons  from  New  Ulm.  With  the  aid  of  A.  N. 
Dukes  and  C.  K.  Cleveland  the  American 
House  was  secured  for  a  hospital  and  hastily  put 
in  order  for  the  purpose.  All  the  people  at  New 
Ulm  were  notified  Sunday  afternoon  to  be 
ready  by  next  morning  to  start  for  Mankato. 
Every  team  in  town  was  put  in  requisition. 
Contrary  to  instructions  the  people  piled  all 
manner  of  household  goods  into  the  wagons, 
until  there  was  no  room  for  half  the  women  and 
children,  consequently  the  officers  in  charge 
were  obliged  next  morning  to  dump  from  the  wag- 
ons trunks,  feather  beds,  furniture  and  all  manner 
of  goods  into  the  street  to  make  room  for  the 
sick,  the  wounded  and  those  who  could  not 
walk.  The  road  for  two  or  three  miles  out 
of  town  was  strewn  with  household  effects 
thrown  from  the  overloaded  wagons.  Before 
the  expedition  started  all  the  stores  were 
thrown  open  and  everybody  invited  to  take  what- 
ever they  wished,  as  it  was  supposed  the  Indians 
would  return  and  plunder  all  as  soon  as  the 
whites  were  gone.  A  number  of  the  volunteers 
loaded  themselves  with  these  goods  and  after- 
wards becoming  tired  had  to  throw  them  away 
on  the  march.  There  were  153  wagons  and 
about  2,000  people  in  line.  All  the  able- 
bodied  men  marched  under  arms  in  their  re- 
spective companies,  some  in  front,  some  along 
the  sides  and  some  in  the  rear  to  guard 
the  long  train  of  non-combatants.  Since  both 
South  Bend  and  Mankato  were  already  crowded 
With  refugees  from  the  surrounding  country,  it 
was  no  small  matter  to  find  food  and  shelter  for 
2,000  more.     Cattle  were  killed  at  South  Bend 


and  ilankato  and  the  meat  cooked  in  large 
kettles  over  camp  fires.  Barrels  of  flour  were 
converted  into  bread  by  the  women.  It  was  late 
in  the  afternoon  before  the  tired,  hungry  mul- 
titude arrived. 

The  rear  Guard,  consisting  of  the  companies 
of  Lieutenants  Cox  and  Buck  and  acting  Lieu- 
tenant J.  B.  Swan,  halted  for  the  night  at 
C'risp's  store  (where  now  stands  the  residence 
of  Joseph  Roberts)  in  Judson  to  guard  the  rear 
in  case  the  Indians  should  follow  the  retreat.  It 
was  a  very  dark,  rainy,  cold  night.  About  two 
o'clock  in  the  morning  one  of  the  sentries  no- 
ticed some  object  move  in  front  of  him  in  the 
tall  grass.  He  challenged  it,  but  instead  of  an- 
swering, it  came  straight  toward  him.  He  raised 
his  gun  and  pulled  the  trigger  but  the  rain  had 
dampened  the  cap  so  it  did  not  fire.  A  weak, 
trembling  feminine  voice  fell  on  his  ear  beg- 
ging him  not  to  shoot.  It  proved  to  be  a  poor 
\\oman,  Mrs.  Harrington  by  name,  who  eight 
days  before  had  fled  from  her  home  on  the 
Big  Cottonwood,  west  of  N^ew  Ulm,  with  a  num- 
ber of  neighbors.  The  little  company  had  been 
overtaken  in  the  road  by  a  band  of  Indians  and 
nearly  all  murdered.  Mrs.  Harrington  had 
jumped  from  the  wagon,  with  her  little  babe,  a 
year  old  boy,  in  her  arms.  An  Indian  bullet 
passed  through  her  little  child's  hand,  which 
v/as  resting  on  her  shoulder,  and  lodged  in  her 
own  body.  She  ran  into  the  brush  and  hid. 
Even  the  little  babe  was  conscious  of  danger  and 
kept  as  still  as  a  mouse,  though  its  little  hand 
had  been  terribly  lacerated  by  the  cruel  bullet. 
The  Indians  failed  to  find  her.  Since  then  she 
had  spent  the  days  hiding  in  bushes  and  swamps 
and  the  nights  in  wandering  over  the  prairies 
trying  to  find  some  white  settlement.  She  had 
subsisted  on  roots,  berries  and  raw  vegetables. 
Tliis  Monday  night  weak  from  hunger,  loss 
oi  blood  and  pain,  wet  and  shivering  with  the 
rain  and  the  cold,  and  her  clothes  almost  in 
shreds,  her  feet  cut  by  the  grass,  and  her  baby 
sick  and  nearly  dead  from  hunger  and  exposure, 
she  had  seen  the  camp  fires  and  determined  to 
approach  them  rather  than  perish  in  the  slough, 
though  she  imagined  they  belonged  to  the  In- 
dians. Her  joy,  when  she  discovered  they  were 
white  men  was  most  touching.     The  men  kindly 


118 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


cared  for  her  and  her  babe,  and  next  morning 
took  them  to  the  hospital  at  Mankato,  and  there 
the  glad  husband  who  happened  to  have  been 
east  when   the   massacre   occurred,   found   them. 

The  governor  now  commissioned  Judge  Plan- 
drau  to  the  command  of  all  the  militia  organiza- 
tions in  Blue  Earth  County  and  points  south 
and  west  with  headquarters  at  South  Bend.  His 
principal  office  was  in  the  hotel  there.  Commis- 
saries were  maintained  at  South  Bend,  Mankato 
and  St.  Peter  to  feed  the  hundreds  of  fugitives 
there  gathered.  A.  N.  Dukes  was  quarter  mas- 
ter for  the  first  two  or  three  weeks  and  after 
])is  promotion  to  the  rank  of  Captain,  D.  H. 
Tyner  was  appointed  with  B.  D.  Pay  as  assistant 
in  Mankato,  and  Geo.  Owens  in  South  Bend. 
Threshing  crews  were  formed,  who  went  out  and 
threshed  the  stacks  of  grain,  without  asking  the 
farmers  leave,  for  all  was  under  martial  law.  The 
grain  thus  secured  was  ground  into  flour  to  feed 
the  people.  There  were  some,  even  in  such  try- 
ing circumstances,  who  took  advantage  of  the 
indulgence  and  generosity  of  the  people  as  an 
occasion  to  gratify  their  thieving  propensities. 
Silverware  and  other  articles  were  stolen  from 
hotels,  and  private  homes  by  some  dishonest 
miscreants,  while  others  ventured  back  to  jSTew 
Ulm  at  the  peril  of  their  lives  and  carried  away 
wagon  loads  of  the  goods  scattered  by  the  road- 
side, but  which  did  not  belong  to  them.  These 
instances  of  looting  of  property,  however,  were 
rare,  though  the  confusion  which  then  pre- 
vailed  afforded   everj'   opportunity. 

On  Tuesday  (Aug.  36th)  while  Capt.  Dane's 
company  were  still  encamped  at  the  Eobinson 
house  near  the  outlet  of  Lake  Crystal  they  dis- 
covered a  wagon  drawn  by  oxen  coming  from  the 
west  near  Buffalo  Grove.  A  detachment  of 
soldiers  mounted  their  horses  and  went  out  to 
meet  it.  The  occupants  proved  to  be  refugees 
from  Lake  Shetec,  Messrs.  Everett,  Hatch  and 
Bently  and  a  Mrs.  Meyer  and  her  four  children. 
Mrs.  Meyer  had  been  carried  from  her  home, 
on  ■  her  sick  bed,  and  when  opposite  Few  Ulm 
the  previous  Saturday  her  husband  ventured 
into  town  to  procure  help,  and,  being  hemmed 
in  by  the  Indians,  had  failed  to  get  out.  After 
waiting  a  whole  day  for  him  the  party  concluded 
he    must    have    been '  killed,    and    proceeded    on 


their  journey  towards  South  Bend.  They  had 
reached  Buffalo  Grove,  when  they  saw  the  sol- 
diers coming  toward  them  on  horseback,  and 
took  them  at  once  to  be  Indians.  Hatch  and 
Bentley  left  the  wagon  and  ran  to  the  lake, 
where  they  hid  in  the  grass.  Mr.  Everett  had 
been  severely  wounded  by  the  Indians  and  could 
not  walk  and  Mrs.  Meyers  was  too  sick  to  rise 
from  her  bed,  so  the  two  with  the  children  were 
left  in  the  wagon.  The  fright  threw  the  womaa 
into  convulsions  and  it  was  some  time  before 
she  and  the  two  men  in  the  slough  could  be 
made  to  realize  that  the  soldiers  were  not  In- 
dians, but  white  men.  Mr.  Hatch  was  also  bad- 
ly wounded,  though  he  was  able  to  walk.  AU 
were  taken  at  once  to  the  hospital  at  Man- 
kato, where  Mrs.  Meyers  died  the  next  day.  The 
terrible  hardships  she  had  undergone  proved 
too  much  for  her  enfeebled  health. 

On  Friday,  Aug.  29th,  Dane's  company  was 
ordered  from  Lake  Crystal  to  New  Uhn,  which 
had  been  deserted  since  Monday.  The  town 
presented  a  most  dreary  and  desolate  appear- 
ance. The  houses  were  all  burnt,  except  a  few 
in  the  center.  The  streets  were  littered  from 
end  to  end  with  household  goods  and  furni- 
ture, and  here  and  there  were  the  bloated  car- 
casses of  some  fifty  or  sixty  "horses  and  cattle, 
which  had  been  killed  in  the  fight,  emiting  a 
horrible  stench.  The  barricades  were,  still 
standing  across  the  streets,  except  at  one  place, 
where  they  had  been  thrown  down  to  permit 
the  besieged  people  to  escape.  Within  these  for- 
tifications little  mounds  of  earth  dotted  the  streets 
thick,  under  which  in  shallow  graves  lay  the 
dead.  The  few  buildings  left  had  been  all  loop- 
holed  for  musketrj',  and  both  barricades  and 
buildings 'were  splintered  and  riddled  with  bul- 
lets. Everywhere  were  evidences  of  the  desper- 
ate conflict  of  Saturday  and  it  was  several  days 
before  the  soldiers  could  restore  the  town  to 
order. 

In  the  mean  time  Gen.  Sibley  had  occupied 
Ft.  Eidgley  with  an  army  of  1500  to  1600 
men.  But  they  were  all  raw  recruits,  who  had 
received  no  military  training,  and  armed  for 
the  most  part  with  rejected  muskets,  which 
the  government  had  sent  north  to  be  used  in 
drilling    new    volunteers.      On    September    2nd, 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


119 


1862j  occurred  the  battle  of  Birch  Cooley,  when 
a  burial  detachment,  which  Gen.  Sibley  had 
sent  out,  was  attacked  by  an  overwhelming 
force  of  Indians  about  twelve  miles  west  of 
Ft.  Eidgely,  but  managed  to  hold  their  own  in 
a  terrible  struggle,  until  relieved  by  re-enforce- 
ments from  the  fort.  On  the  very  day  of 
this  battle  a  skulking  band  of  eight  Indians 
killed  some  settlers  near  the  present  village  of 
Courtland  in  Nicollet  county  and  crossing  the 
Minnesota  passed  stealthily  through  the  north- 
western corner  of  Cambria  township.  Eben  P. 
Davies,  the  son  of  David  P.  Davis,  then  residing 
on  the  Little  Cottonwood  in  section  nineteen 
of  Cambria,  had  just  put  a  span  of  colts  into 
a  pasture  and  was  returning  along  the  side  of 
the  fence,  when  he  came  upon  an  Indian  lying 
in  the  grass.  The  Indian  jumped  up  and  made 
a  grab  for  Eben's  shoulder,  but  the  latter  dodged 
and  ran  for  home.  The  Indian  followed  him 
a  short  distance,  and  then  fired,  the  ball  pass- 
ing through  Eben's  left  arm  between  the  wrist 
and  the  elbow.  A  stampede  of  the  settlers, 
who  had  just  returned  to  their  homes  a  few 
days  before,  was  prevented  by  the  timely  arrival  in 
the  neighborhood  of  a  company  of  the  twenty- 
fifth  Wisconsin,  which  was  on  its  way  to  New 
Ulm.  It  tarried  over  night  in  Cambria  to  pro- 
tect the  settlers  and  aid  them  in  searching  for 
the  Indians.  No  trace  of  the  latter  could  be 
discovered,  nor  of  Mr.  Davis'  two  colts,  which 
Eben  had  put  into  the  pasture.  The  next  day 
Col.  Flandrau  sent  Capt.  Rogers'  company  to 
New  Ulm  to  relieve  Capt.  Dane's  company,  and 
the  latter  was  stationed  at  Crisp's  store  in 
Judson.  Why  they  were  not  stationed  in  the 
^ore  westerly  settlement  of  Cambria,  or  But- 
ternut Valley  as  it  was  then  called,  is  not 
apparent. 

The  people  of  that  neighborhood  were  accus- 
tomed to  gather  for  mutual  protection  each 
night  at  the  home  of  James  Morgan,  which 
stood  across  the  highway  from  the  school  house 
of  District  No.  eleven.  Tuesday  night,  Sep- 
tember 9th,  just  one  week  after  Eben  P.  Davis 
was  shot,  most  of  the  families  concluded  to 
stay  at  home,  as  the  soldiers  that  very  day  had 
made  a  thorough  search  of  the  town  and  had 
found    no    trace     of    Indians.       A     few     came 


together  as  usual.  These  were  the  families  of 
David  P.  Davis,  James  Edwards,  Lewis  D. 
Lewis  and  Richard  Morgan;  twenty-two  per- 
sons, between  men,  women  and  children.  David 
Price  and  family  had  come  with  their  neighbor, 
James  Edwards,  but  at  the  invitation  of  Thos. 
Y.  Davis,  they  went  to  spend  the  night  with 
him.  His  house  (the  present  residence  of 
Rev.  Thos.  E.  Hughes)  stood  only  about  fifty 
rods  to  the  north,  on  the  other  side  of  a  little 
knoll.  A  number  of  the  men  gathered  at 
James  Morgan's  house  early  in  the "  evening  to 
talk  over  the  news.  Among  others  were  John 
S.  Jones,  David  J.  Davis,  and  Henry  'Hughes. 
The  latter  spoke  of  an  adventure  he  had  just 
been  through  in  looking  for  his  cow  on  Cambria 
Creek  near  his  cabin,  a  suspicious  noise  in  the 
brush,  as  of  persons  moving  away  from  him  as 
he  entered  them  in  the  dusk  to  look  for  the 
cow.  Wm.  Edwards  told  of  seeing  some  men 
that  afternoon  down  by  the  Minnesota,  whom 
he  was  certain  were  Indians.  Not  much  atten- 
tion was  paid  to  these  reports,  as  such  stories 
were  much  in  vogue  in  those  days,  for  nearly 
every  object  a  person  then  saw  assumed  the 
appearance  of  an  Indian  warrior.  Except  the 
twenty-two  before  mentioned  all  the  rest  of  the 
neighbors  soon  dispersed  to  their  homes. 

Next  morning,  September  10th,  at  break  of 
day  the  people  at  James  ^Morgans'  house  were 
awakened  by  the  furious  barking  of  dogs.  Mr. 
Morgans  opened  the  front,  door  and  saw  some 
person  in  the  road  in  front  of  the  house  with 
a  dog  barking  viciously  at  his  heels.  The 
party  seemed  to  be  dressed  like  a  white  man 
and  had  a  straw  hat  on  his  head,  but  as  he 
turned  to  look  at  the  dog,  Mr.  Morgans  recog- 
nized him  to  be  an  Indian,  and  called  the  atten- 
tion of  Lewis  D.  Lewis,  who  had  stepped  to 
his  side,  to  him.  Mr.  Lewis  raised  his  right 
hand  to  shield  his  eyes  as  he  peered  in  the 
direction  pointed  by  Morgans.  Suddenly  a  bul- 
let struck  his  hand,  passing  through  its  entire 
breadth  a  little  above  the  knuckles  and  strik- 
ing against  his  forehead,  fell  to  the  floor.  His 
hand  had  saved  his  brain.  Another  bullet  came 
\»._izzing  through  a  window,  but  though  the 
room  was  full  of  people,  it  passed  between  them 
doing    no    harm.       James     Edwards    had    just 


120 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY, 


risen  from  the  floor,  where  he  had  been  sleep- 
ing, to  reach  for  his  gun,  when  a  third  ball 
came  through  another  window,  hitting  him  in 
the  neck,  severing  the  jugular  vein.  Without 
a  word  he  fell  dead  across  his  bed  on  the  floor, 
his  blood  spirting  over  all  near  him.  The  other 
men  had  now  secured  their  guns  and  opened 
a  brisk  fire  on  the  Indians  and  they  quickly 
retreated  into  a  cornfield  across  the  road.  D.  P, 
Davis,  Jr.,  thinks  he  hit  one  of  them  as  he 
leaped  the  fence,  but  no  marks  of  blood  or 
otherwise  could  be  found.  As  soon  as  the 
Indians  were  driven  ofE,  John  P.  and  Henry  P. 
Davis  started  for  camp  Crisp,  six  miles  away, 
lor  help.  Wm.  Edwards  and  D.  P.  Davis,  Jr. 
followed  in  a  short  time  on  the  same  errand. 
Miss  Mary  Morgans,  taking  one  of  her  brother's 
youngest  children  in  her  arms,  started,  also,  for 
the  camp.  The  others  stayed  in  the  house  for 
a  time,  and  kept  watch  from  the  second  story  win- 
dows. David  P.  Davis  had  been  stacking  grain 
the  day  before  and  had  left  his  horses  in  the 
pasture,  three  quarters  of  a  mile  west  of  Mor- 
gan's house,  over  night.  Not  long  after  the 
attack  a  number  of  Indians  were  observed  chas- 
ing the  horses.  They  soon  corraled  them  in  a 
corner  of  the  field,  where  they  had  made  a  pen 
with  the  wagons  used  in  stacking.  The  Indians 
now  congregated  on  a  high  knoll  on  the  Daniel 
P.  Davis  farm  to  reconnoiter.  There  were  about 
fifteen  of  them.  After  a  short  consultation  the 
four  mounted  on  the  horses  they  had  just  caught 
and  two  on  foot  started  down  the  hill  eastward, 
in  the  direction  of  the  Morgans  house.  Three 
or  four  went  south,  where  they  stole  Eev.  Jen- 
kin  Jenkin's  horses,  and  the  rest  passed  beyond 
the    hill   to    the    west. 

The  occupants  of  the  Morgans  house,  seeing 
a  portion  of  the  Indians  coming  straight  toward 
them,  concluded  -they  were  bent  on  another 
attack,  and,  as  there  were  now  only  three  men 
left  with  the  women  and  children,  all  fled  from 
the  house.  D.  P.  Davis  Sr.  hid  in  the  corn- 
field, James  Morgan  in  some  stacks  of  grain, 
the  rest  ran  down  a  small  gully  towards  Cam- 
bria Creek.  When  about  twenty  rods  west  of 
the  house  the  two  Indians  on  foot  turned  to  the 
left,  into  Thos.  Y.  Davis'  field;  the  four  mount- 
ed evidently  to  avoid  the  Morgans  house,  turned 


to  the  right  into  Henry  Hughes'  field,  and 
passed  down  a  branch  of  the  same  gully  just 
mentioned  and  barely  missed  the  women  and 
children,  who  had  just  reached  a  clump  of 
bushes  at  the  junction,  when  the  Indians 
passed  within  a  few  feet  of  them.  Lewis  D. 
Lewis,  being  unable  to  staunch  the  fiow  of 
blood  from  his  hand,  had  left  the  house  about 
fifteen  minutes  before  to  try  and  reach  Dane's 
camp  at  the  Crisp  store  to  secure  medical  aid. 
When  nearing  Bennett's  Creek,  about  a  mile 
away,  he  saw  the  Indians  coming  after  him  on 
the  road  at  full  gallop.  He  ran  and  threw 
himself  into  a  clump  of  bushes  near  by.  He 
found  himself  lying  on  the  ground  within  a 
foot  or  two  of  a  monster  prairie  snake.  Lewis 
concluded  to  trust  the  snake,  however,  rather 
than  the  Indians  and  so  lay  motionless  until 
the  Sioux  were  gone;  nor  did  his  snakeship  ob- 
ject to  his  den  being  made  a  city  of  refuge. 

The  two  Indians,  who  had  turned  into  Thos. 
Y.  Davis'  field,  went  straight  for  his  horses, 
which  had  been  staked  out  to  grass  by  the 
house.  Mr.  Davis  thought  they  were  soldiers, 
as  they  were  dressed  as  whitemen,  and  ran  out 
to  stop  them  from  taking  his  horses,  but  when 
he  got  close  to  them  he  perceived  they  wepe 
Indians.  They  had  laid  down  their  guns  to 
catch  the  horses  and  therefore  could  not'  shoot 
him.  He  turned  quickly  and  ran  to  James 
Morgans  house  for  help.  To  his  surprise  the 
place  seemed  deserted  and  no  one  answered  his 
rap.  The  front  door  was  locked  so  he  went  to 
the  back  door.  Here  the  steps  were  covered 
with  blood  and  a  glance  through  the  half  open 
door  revealed  the  bedding  on  the  floor  in  the 
wildest  confusion  and  soaked  with  blood,  pools 
of  blood,  also,  on  the  floor,  and  spirts  of  blood 
dripping  from  the  walls.  Mr.  Davis  did  not 
tarry  long  near  this  chamber  of  blood,  but  made 
the  swiftest  run  he  ever  made  before  or  since, 
to  the  log  cabin  of  one  John  Shield's,  three 
quarters  of  a  mile  down  the  road.  Mr.  Shields 
was  sick  in  bed,  but  sickness  in  those  days  was 
no  excuse,  and  he  and  his  family  promptly 
joined  Mr.  Davis  in  an  expedition  into  the 
woods  of  Cambria  Creek.  Emerging  from  the 
brush  into  the  Mankato  road  about  a  mile 
below,  they  saw  not  more  than  ten  rods  ahead 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


121 


of  them  the  four  Indians,  mounted  on  the  D. 
P.  Davis  horses.  The  Indians  glanced  bacK 
over  their  shoulders  at  them  but  did  not  stop. 
Half  a  mile  further  on  \Vm.  P.  Jones,  Hugh 
li.  William,  Stephen  and  David  Walters  and 
Thos.  D.  Lloyd  were  approaching  the  Mankato 
road  from  Lloyd's  house,  in  a  wagon  half  filled 
with  household  goods  drawn  by  oxen.  The 
Indians  caught  sight  of  them  and  charged  them 
full  gallop,  whooping  and  brandishing  their 
weapons.  The  men  scattered  into  the  adjoin- 
ing cornfield  except  Stephen  Walters,  who 
mounted  on  a  fleet  mare  belonging  to  Hugh 
Wiinams,  attempted  to  out  run  the  foe,  which 
he  might  have  easily  done,  but  the  savages  dis- 
conserted  him  by  their  yelling  and  he  jumped 
from  his  mare  and  ran  into  the  brush.  The 
Indians  caught  the  mare  and  substituted  her 
for  the  poorest  of  the  four  horses  they  had  and 
after  plundering  the  wagon  of  such  things  as 
they  wanted,  they  passed  on  down  the  road 
towards    Mankato. 

Leaving  them  for  the  present  let  us  return 
again  to  the  upper  end  of  the  settlement.  David 
J.  Davis'  log  cabin  then  stood  in  section  seven- 
teen of  Cambria,  at  the  foot  of  the  steep  blufi, 
which  skirts  the  Minnesota  river  bottom.  A 
path  led  up  this  bluff,  back  of  the  house  to  the 
table  land  above,  where  was  a  cornfield.  At 
day  break,  this  morning,  Mr.  Davis'  eighteen 
year  old  son,  Thomas,  went  up  the  path  to  see 
if  there  were  cattle  in  the  corn.  Just  at  the 
top  he  met  two  Indians  face  to  face  and  turned 
to  flee,  but  they  shot  him  in  the  back,  through 
the  heart.  The  father  yet  in  bed  heard  the 
shot  and  the  piercing  shriek*  of  his  son.  He 
rushed  to  the  door  half  clad  just  in  time  to 
see  his  son  fall  and  the  two  Indians  standing 
at  the  top  of  the  bluff.  Mr.  Davis  seized  his 
ax  while  his  oldest  son,  David,  who  was  an 
excellent  shot,  took  his  trusty  rifle  and  gather- 
ing his  other  eight  motherless  children,  most 
of  whom  were  "quite  small,  he  fled  with  them 
on  the  bluff  watching,  but  not  daring  to-  follow 
from  respect  to  David's  rifle.  Thus  they  hasten- 
ed on  through  the  tail  grass,  dripping  with  the 
cold  morning  dew,  thinly  clad  and  chilled  to  the 
bone,  a  distance  of  six  miles  to  Camp  Crisp, 
warning  all  the   people  they  met.    The  weather 


was  now  getting  quite  chilly  night  and  morning, 
but  none  of  the  settlers  that  morning  had  time 
to  think  of  wraps,  but  all  fled  just  as  they  were, 
many   only  half   clad. 

John  P.  Davis,  whom  we  mentioned  leaving 
James  Morgans'  house,  had  caught  on  Bermett's 
Creek  on  old  horse  belonging  to  Eiehard  Morgans, 
and  thus  had  been  enabled  to  reach  the  soldier's 
camp  ten  or  flfteen  minutes  ahead  of  David  J. 
Davis  and  children,  whom  he  had  passed  on  the 
road.  That  morning  Eiehard  Wigley,  Wm.  J. 
Eoberts,  and  John  C.  Jones  had  left  camp  Crisp 
with  a  threshing  machine.  On  the  knoll  on  the 
west  side  of  Jonas  Mohr's  farm,  in  section 
36,  (now  owned  by  Mrs.  Eiehard  Jones),  they 
met  David  J.  Davis  and  John  P.  Davis  and 
other  fugitives  with  news  of  the  attack.  John 
C.  Jones  had  gone  on  an  errand  to  the  house 
of  Morris  Lewis  about  half  a  mile  away  from  the 
road,  leaving  his  partners,  Eoberts  and  Wig- 
ley  with  the  machine,  waiting  on  the  knoll  for 
his  return,  and  talking  with  the  fugitives  as 
they  came.  Mr.  Mohr  came  up  the  road  looking 
for  his  horses.  After  talking  a  few  minutes 
about  the  awful  happenings  of  the  morning  he 
started  up  the  road  to  the  west.  In  the  slough 
west  of  the  knoll  J.  W.  Trask  and  John  Page 
were  making  hay.  Suddenly  seven  men  on  horse 
back  were  seen  coming  down  the  road  full 
speed.  As  they  wore  straw  hats  and  citizens 
clothes,  the  people  were  in  doubt  whether  they 
were  white  fugitives  or  Indians.  One  of  them 
turned  aside  to  pursue  Mr.  Trask  and  they 
were  then  known  to  be  Indians.  Mr.  Trask 
ran  and  jumped  over  a  fence.  The  Indian 
fired  at  him  hitting  him  in  the  wrist  and  then 
hurried  back  to  join  his  companions.  The  other 
six  Indians  made  straight  for  the  machine. 
Wigley  and  Eoberts  were  unarmed  and  ran  to 
hide  in  some  sugar  cane  near  by.  Mohr  had  a 
Sharps  rifle,  and  was  a  flne  shot,  but  he  ran 
back  and  passed  the  machine  without  firing, 
evidently  trying  to  get  home  to  protect  his  fam- 
ily. One  Indian  followed  him  past  the  ma- 
chine, and  Slohr,  seeing  that  he  would  soon  over- 
take him,  wheeled  about  to  shoot,  but  the  In- 
dian's gun  went  off  first,  the  ball  penetrating 
Mohr's  forehead.  He  fell  over  backward  and  soon 
expired.  In  the  meantime  the  other  Indians  cut 


122 


HISTOEY  OF  BLtTB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


the  hajness  ofE  of  one  of  Eoberts'  best  horses 
and  took  it  in  place  of  one  of  the  poorest  they 
had.  Seeing  a  company  of  soldiers  coming  up 
the  road  at  full  speed,  the  Indians  fled  in  hot 
haste  for  the  woods  near  by.  Four  of  them,  in 
passing  down  the  ravine  near  Morris  Lewis' 
house,  barely  missed  meeting  Mr.  Lewis  and 
family,  David  A.  Davis  and  family  and  David 
.J.  Thomas  who  were  coming  with  teams  toward 
the  road.  The  other  three  passed  down  the 
ravine  by  Geo.  Owens'  house,  and  Mr.  Owens 
and  his  children  scarcely  had  time  to  get  out 
of  their  way  into  the  brush  and  corn  beside 
the  path. 

Let  us  again  return  to  the  western  end  of  the 
settlement.  Early  this  same  morning  John  S. 
Jones  (Prairie),  living  on  the  northwest  quar- 
ter of  section  33  bid  his  wife  and  six  children 
good-bye  to  go  and  help  John  Jones  (Indiana) 
stack  grain.  In  passing  the  westerly  foot  of 
tJie  big  knoll  on  the  Daniel  P.  Davis  farm,  near 
Avhere  the  road  from  the  south  then  met  the 
east  and  west  road  from  Horeb  church,  on  the 
John  Eees  farm,  he  was  killed  and  scalped.  He 
was  a  brave  and  powerful  man,  and  the  grass 
around  him  bore  evidence  of  a  desperate  strug- 
gle. His  pitch  fork  was  bent  and  bloody. 
Whether  he  slew  or  wounded  any  of  his  murder- 
ers will  never  be  loiown.  About  an  hour  laterj 
as  John  Jones  (India"'"-a)  was  busy  stacking  on 
his  farm,  about  eight  rods  west  of  the  Blue 
Earth  County  line,  and  John  B.  Shaw  was  pitch- 
ing to  him  from  the  load,  a  number  of  Indians 
came  out  of  the  brush  near  by,  jumped  over  the 
fence  and  rushed  towards  the  two  men,  firing 
their  guns.  Mr.  Jones  leaped  from  the  butt  of 
a  stack,  and  then  broke  for  a  point  of  timber 
near  by,  the  Indians  chasing  after  him  and 
shooting.  This  was  the  last  seen  of  poor  Jones 
alive.  The  following  spring,  (April  6th,  1863) 
when  D.  P.  Davis  was  burning  his  meadow 
three-fourths  of  a  mile  west  of  Horeb  church  his 
bones  were  found  in  the  edge  of  a  slough.  His 
shoe  was  found  caught  in  the  fence,  where  he 
evidently  had  crossed  into  the  meadow  in  haste. 
Whether  he  was  mortally  wounded  when  run- 
ning for  the  brusli  and  had  fled  to  this  spot, 
a  distance  of  two  miles,  before  he  fell  exhausted 
ur  whether  he  met  other  Indians  near  where  he 
crossed  the  D.  P.  Davis  fence,  which  wan  with- 


in a  few  feet  of  where  John  S.  Jones  had  met 
Ids  death  an  hour  or  two  before,  will  never  be 
known.  While  the  Indians  were  chasing  Mr. 
Jones,  Mr.  Shaw  laid  down  on  top  of  the  load  to 
iivoid  the  bullets  and  the  horses  becoming  scar- 
ed ran  with  him  across  a  part  of  the  field  and 
until  stopped  by  a  fence  in  the  edge  of  the 
timber.  Mr.  Shaw,  seeing  the  coast  was  clear, 
slipped  down  from  the  load  and  getting  into 
Die  brush  escaped.  Evan  Jones  was  out  in  the 
field  loading  when  he  saw  the  Indians  after  his 
father,  and  fleeing  out  upon  the  prairie,  hid 
in  the  sloughs  and  could  not  be  found  for  some 
two  weeks.  His  relatives  and  neighbors  search- 
ed everywhere  for  him,  and  he  often  saw  them 
fj-om  his  hiding  places,  but  always  imagined 
them  to  be  Indians.  His  excitable  temperament 
and  the  hardships  he  endured  almost  unsettled 
his  reason.  He  was  finally  run  down  by  a 
volunteer  company  and  restored  to  his  friends. 

David  Price  and  family  went  home  early  from 
1'hos.  T.  Davis'  home  on  that  eventful  morn- 
ing and  finding  that  their  neighbor,  James  Ed- 
wards and  family  did  not  return  by  nine  o'clock 
A.  M.,  Mr.  Price  went  up  to  Morgans'  house  to 
see  what  was  the  matter.  To  his  amazement 
he  found  the  teams  and  wagons  about  the  house 
just  as  they  had  been  left  the  night  before,  but 
not  a  person  in  sight,  and  no  response  to  his 
knocking  at  the  door.  On  looking  in  through  a 
window  he  saw  that  the  beds  and  floor  were 
covered  with  blood.  In  a  corner  of  the  room 
a  quilt  seemed  to  have  been  spread  over  some- 
thing. Entering  by  the  back  door  he  lift- 
ed a  corner  of  this  quilt,  when  to  his  horror 
he  discovered  the  body  of  his  murdered  neigh- 
bor, Edwards.  Lie  imagined  an  Indian  hid  in 
every  corner  of  the  room  and  expected  every 
nioment  to  feel  the  sting  of  the  bullets.  Beating 
a  hasty  retreat,  he  started  on  the  run  for  the 
residence  of  Thos.  Y.  Davis,  where  he  h.id  pars- 
ed the  night,  but  before  he  had  gone  more  than 
a  few  rods  he  saw  four  men  and  two  women 
hurrj'ing  down  the  road  on  foot.  They  proved 
to  be  Eev.  Jenkin  Jenkins  and  wife,  David 
Morris  and  wife,  and  Geo.  and  Neal  Porter.  He 
joined  them  and  induced  them  to  go  with  him 
to  get  his  family.  All  the  men  had  their  guns. 
At  Price's  house  the  women  and  children  were 
put   into    Price's  wagon,   which   stood   with  the 


HISTOEY  OP  BLtTE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


123 


oxen  already  Mtelied  to  it  at  the  door,  and  they 
started  for  Camp  Crisp.  They  had  barely  gotten 
out  of  the  portion  of  the  valley  of  the  Minnesota, 
known  as  the  "Little  Prairie,"  when  the  seven 
Indians,  who  had  shot  Mohr  and  Trask,  came 
across  it.  On  reachuig  the  Mankato  and  New 
I'lm  road  about  a  mile  away  on  the  upland,  they 
met  the  first  detachment  of  Dane's  company. 
When  they  first  saw  them  coming  on  the  road, 
urging  their  horses  to  their  utmost  speed, 
they  took  them  for  Indians,  and  prepared  to 
make  as  good  a  fight  for  their  lives  as  they 
could.  Their  Joy  when  they  proved  to  be  sol- 
diers may  well  be  imagined. 

Fifty  rods  southwest  of  the  James  Morgans 
house  stood  the  log  cabin  of  Henry  Hughes. 
Mr.  Hughes  and  his  family  were  at  home  at- 
tending to  their  usual  duties  on  this  fateful 
10th  of  September,  unconscious  of  the  danger 
all  about  them.  Prom  their  hiding  place  in  the 
woods  of  Cambria  Creek  the  fugitives  from  Mr. 
Morgans'  house  could  see  the  Indians  passing 
back  and  forth  not  far  from  the  cabin.  Finally 
Eichard  Morgans  ventured  over  to  warn  them. 
The  old  man  was  bareheaded,  barefooted  and 
without  a  coat,  and  a  pitchfork  was  his  only 
weapon.  Soon  after  the  Hughes  family  had 
been  gathered  into  the  brush  of  Cambria  Creek, 
with  the  refugees  from  the  James  Morgans  house, 
the  first  detachment  of  soldiers  arrived.  When 
the  cowering  fugitives  heard  the  noise  of  the 
horses  hoofs  coming  towards  them  over  the 
prairie,  shaking  the  ground  with  their  furious 
speed,  they  thought  they  were  Indians  and 
scattered  further  into  the  timber,  but  the  assur- 
ing calls  of  the  soldiers,  many  of  whom  had 
relatives  among  the  fugitives,  soon  brought  all 
back  rejoicing.  Just  across  the  creek  three 
mounted  Indians  were  discovered  coming  down 
the  road  a  little  over  half  a  mile  away.  The 
soldiers  at  once  gave  chase  firing  after  them, 
but  the  Indians  made  good  their  escape  into 
the  timber  of  the  Little  Cottonwood,  three  quar- 
ters of  a  mUe  beyond,  though  one  of  them  drop- 
ped his  blanket  in  the  haste  of  his  flight.  Three 
detachments  of  Dane's  company  were  sent  after 
the  Indians,  between  twenty-five  and  thirty  in 
number,  and  drove  them  far  into  the  west, 
along  the  prairies  between  the  Little  and  Big 
Cottonwood  rivers. 


The    casualities   of   the   morning   on    the   part 
of   the  whites  were  five   settlers  killed   and   two 


wounded    and    about 


horses    stolen.       The 


bodies  of  the  murdered  men  except  that  of  John 
Jones,  (Indiana)  which  could  not  then  be  found, 
were  gathered  and  buried  in  Jerusalem  Ceme- 
tery that  afternoon.  The  surviving  settlers 
now  deserted  their  homes  again  for  many  weeks, 
staying  in  the  vicinity  of  Camp  Crisp  and 
South  Bend. 

On  September  20tli,  186-2  tweuty-two  inhabi- 
tants of  tlie  town  enlisted  for  tliirty  days  as  a 
militia  company,  under  the  name  of  "Butter- 
nut Valley  Guards."  Their  muster  roll  was  as 
follows : 

Captain,    George    ^\'.    Porter, 
First   Lieutenant,  James   Morgan. 
Second   Lieutenant,   Wm.    P.    Jones. 


Privates : 

Bavis,    David   A. 
Davis,  Tlios.  Y. 
Jenkins,  Eev.   Jenkin. 
Jenkins,    ^Ym.   E. 
Lewis,  Morris. 
Lloyd,  Thos.  B. 
Morris,    David. 
Owens,    George. 
Price,   David. 
Shields,  John. 


Shields,    Wm. 
Thomas,    David. 
Thomas,  Kice. 
Thomas,   Thos. 
^\'alters,   David. 
\\  alters,   Stephen. 
Williams,    David    J. 
\VilIiams,   Wm.  J. 
\Mlli;ims,    Hugh    E. 


The  company  were  stationed  at  what  was 
known  in  those  days  as  the  "Big  Barn"  on  the 
farm  now  owned  by  David  E.  Bowen  in  the 
center  of  section  twenty-eight  of  Cambria.  Here 
they  built  a  fort  of  logs  and  earth.  The  state 
furnished  the  company  with  arms,  ammunition 
and  rations  and  they  rendered  good  service  in 
protecting  the  frontier,  caring  for  the  stock 
and  property  left  on  the  deserted  farms,  and 
cutting  hay  for  winter.  In  spite  of  the  hard- 
ships, perils  and  death  about  them  this  company 
did  not  lack  of  much  enjoyment  and  fun. 
There  were  warm  discussions  of  national  and 
local  questions,  there  were  many  quarrels,  prac- 
tical jokes  and  Indian  scares  all  mingled  to- 
gether. Such  is  the  buoyancy  of  human  nature 
that  even  in  the  hour  of  calamity  it  will  find 
crumbs  of  humor.  So  the  settlers  of  Blue 
Earth  county  amid  all  troubles  and  trials  of 
the  Indian  massacre  found  opportunities  for 
mirth  and  merry  making,  and  even  to  this  day 
they  enjoy  narrating  the  many  comical  incidents 
of  the  good  old  time  when  they  fought  the  In- 
dians. 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

"JIANKATO     HOME     GUAEDS"— SUREEN- 

DEE  AND  TEIAL  OF  THE  INDIANS— 

THE   HANGING  AT  MANKATO. 


August  31st,  1862,  Wm.  Bierbauer  raised  a 
militia  company  -which  was  styled  "Frontier 
Eangers."  They  were  furnished  by  the  state  with 
Springfield  rifles,  ammunition,  blankets,  shoes, 
etc.,  and  for  forty  days  did  service  at  Mankato, 
South  Bend,  and  Madelia.  The  roster  was  as 
follows : 

William  Bierbauer,  Captain. 

J.   E.   Potter,   First   Lieutenant. 

James    Shoemaker,    Second    Lieutenant. 

Samuel   D.    Shaw,   First   Sergeant. 

H.   S.   L^'tle,   Second   Sergeant. 

H.   C.   Ives,   Third   Sergeant. 

Hubert    Brules,    First    Corporal. 

H.  D.  Orvis,  Second  Corporal. 

Privates : 


Andrus,  AV.  P. 
Eruner,   Andrew. 
Burgmeister,    H. 
Britton,  F.   D. 
Curtis,   B.   I. 
Chamberlain,  J.  H. 
Carr,  J.  G. 
Douglass,  Fred. 
Davies,  Daniel  P. 
Fowler,  F.  H. 
Foster,  Lawrence. 
Gessel,  Jacob. 
Griffin,  D.  S. 
Hassel,   Frederick. 
Hensley,   C.   B. 
Haas,   Joseph. 
Hudson,  J. 
Keenan,  Geo.  M. 


Loring,   John  F. 
Leich,    Theodore. 
Mattox,  Geo.  W. 
ilallov,    L.    W. 
Jlarston,    W.    S. 
Xic'holson,  John. 
Oberly,    Xavier. 
Porter,  E.  D.  B. 
Pichesrowce,    George. 
Pierce,  Parker. 
Pierce,  Geo. 
Seward,   A.   D. 
Sabbath,  George. 
Tate,  Samuel. 
Vogle,   Charles. 
AAhite,   S.   D. 
Whiten,    Luther. 
Waite,    Sydney   L. 


On  September  14th,  1862,  "The  Mankato 
Home  Guards"  were  organized  with  John  P. 
3'Ieagher  as  captain.  The  service  done  by  this 
company  was  confined  to  Mankato  and  vicinity, 
and  in  fun  they  applied  to  themselves  the  sob- 
riquet of  "Bread  Eaters."  Its  roster  was  as 
follows : 

John  F.  Meagher,  Captain. 
Charles    Heilborn,    First    Lieutenant. 
Benjamin  Hotaling,   Second  Lieutenant. 
S.-    F.    Barney,    Orderly    Sergeant. 
Adam     Jefferson,     Second     Sergeant. 
George    Maxfield,    Third    Sergeant. 
Z.    Paddock,    Fourth    Sergeant. 


il.    T.    C.    Flower,   Fifth    Sergeant. 
J.    F.    Williams,   First    Corporal. 
G.     S.     Meacham,     Second     Corporal. 
Jl.    Ullraan,    Third    Corporal. 
J.    C.    Haupt,    Fourth    Coi"poral. 
Ambrose    Lorenz,    Fifth    Corporal. 
Leo    Lamm,    Sixth    Corporal. 
AVilliam   McGuinness,   Seventh   Corporal. 
John  Froiset,  Eighth  Corporal. 

Privates: 


Ames,    Charles. 
Androski,   Rudolph. 
Ballard,    Columbus. 
Branson,    Lewis. 
Brown,   Samuel  D. 
Burrill,   J. 
Brink,    Samuel. 
Berghoff,    Wm. 
Burrill,  X. 
Britton,  I.  N, 
Burgess,   J.    L. 
Bunker,   F. 
Bigler,  Jacob. 
Boegen,   Henry. 
Copp,    Julius. 
Chapman,    C.    A. 
Durkee,   Benjamin. 
Dunscomb,  C.   S. 
Draher,    John. 
Draher,   John,  Jr. 
Fowler,    Henry. 
Frenzel,    Peter. 
Funek,   Wm.   F. 
Garlinger,    J  tike. 
Goodwin,   John. 
Gunning,    Frank    M. 
Hodgson,   Wm.   A. 
Hoerr,  Peter. 
Hoffman,   George. 
Hoffel,  Peter. 
Hartman,  J.  H. 
.Jaeobshagen,    E. 
Johnson,   P.   K. 


Jones,    John    D. 
Kron.    Clements. 
Kauffer,   H.   B. 
Kohler,   B. 
Kellogg,   L.   T. 
Kraus,   Joseph. 
Lorenz,    John. 
Lamb,   David. 
Lees,    .John. 
Lailin,   ilartin. 
Lamm,   Stephen. 
Lentz,   Peter. 
Lerlroch,   Jacob. 
Lambrecht,  August. 
Leader,   Charles. 
More,   J.    H. 
iloher,    Henrv. 
McDowall,    Allen, 
iloreland,  Basil. 
Moser,    Frank. 
Jlargaff,    August. 
Maxfield,    George,    .Jr. 
Mills,   Minard. 
Oberly,    Frank. 
Parsons.   L. 
Pierce,   T.   T. 
Peart,   Thos. 
Preal,   F. 
Phillips,    Antoine. 
Pease,  F.  L. 
Parratt,   Wm.  A. 
Roberts.   Geo.   A. 
Roos,    George. 


Companies  for  home  protection  were  also 
organized  at  Garden  C'ity,  Vernon,  and  Shelby- 
ville,  but  no  rosters  of  them  were  kept.  On 
Sept.  11,  A.  N.  Dukes,  was  promoted  from  the 
position  of  quartermaster  to  the  command  of 
the  post  of  ilankato  and  South  Bend  with  the 
rank  of  Captain.  On  September  21,  John  Arm- 
strong, who  lived   just  over   the   county  line   in 


125 


126 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


Linden  township,  was  killed  by  a  prowling  band 
of  Indians  while  picking  plums  near  his  house. 
His  murder  caused  another  scare  among  the 
settlers  at  Madelia  and  vicinity  and  Capt.  Bier- 
bauer's  company  was  dispatched  to  their  protec- 
tion. 

On  September  23,  Col.  Sibley  with  1500 
men  met  Little  Crow  with  800  braves  at  Wood 
Lake, ,  three  miles  east  of  the  ford  of  Yellow 
Medicine  river.  It  was  the  first  real  test  of 
strength  between  the  white  men  and  the  red 
men  and  was  decisive  of  the  war.  The  Indians 
fled  leaving  thirty  of  their  dead  on  the  field. 
The  whites  lost  only  four  killed.  The  victory 
broke  the  courage  of  the  Indians  and  made 
Sibley  a  Brigadier  General.  Soon  after  this 
battle  the  christian  and  friendly  Indians  who 
had  opposed  the  war,  managed  to  get  nearly 
all  the  captive  women  and  children  away  from 
the  hostile  bands  and  delivered  them  to  the 
whites  at  Camp  Release.  There  were  ninety- 
one  whites,  and  nearly  one  hundred  and  fifty 
half  breeds  rescued  at  this  camp.  The  friendly 
Indians  also  surrendered  themselves  and  among 
them  many,  who  had  taken  more  or  less  part 
in  the  massacre.  Others  were  captured.  In 
all  about  two  thousand  Indians  and  half  breeds 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  whites.  Little  Crow 
and  most  of  the  hostile  bands  fled  into  Dakota 
and  thence  eventually  into  the  British  posses- 
sions, where  they  remained,  and  whence  for  a 
number  of  years  they  kept  up  a  predatory  war 
against  the  whites. 

Among  those  who  had  surrendered  or  been 
captured,  four  hundred  and  twenty-five  were 
suspected  of  having  been  implicated  in  the  mas- 
sacre. These  Gen.  Sibley  caused  to  be  arrested 
and  put  in  chains  and  a  military  court  was 
created  to  try  them  at  once.  This  court  was 
composed  of  Col.  Wm.  Crooks,  of  the  Sixth 
Regiment,  Col.  Wm.  E.  Marshall  of  the  Seventh 
Regiment,  Captain  Grant  and  Baily  of  the  Sixth 
Regiment  and  Lieut.  Olin  of  the  Third  Eegi- 
ment.  The  court  began  its  labors  at  Camp 
Eelease  on  September  30,  and  after  convicting 
twenty-one  adjourned  until  October  16th  to 
allow  time  for  more  Indians  to  be  brought  in. 
After  disposing  of  one  hundred  and  twenty 
cases,  the  Camp  and  Commission  on  Oct.  33rd 


moved  to  the  Lower  Agency.  Of  the  425 
arrested  and  tried,  321  were'  convicted  and  of 
these,  303  were  sentenced  to  be  hung  and  the 
remaining  eighteen  to  various  terms  of  impris- 
onment. The  horrible  mutilations  of  the  dead, 
the  fiendish  torture  and  outrages  inflicted  upon 
the  innocent  women  and  children  and  the  bru- 
tal treatment  of  the  poor  captives  had  so  exas- 
perated the  whites  that  they  thirsted  for  ven- 
geance. With  the  awful  scenes  they  had  wit- 
nessed fresh  in  their  minds,  it  was  impossible 
for  white  men  then  to  judge  an  Indian  impar- 
tially. The  summary  haste  of  the  trials  (from 
twenty  to  forty-two  cases  being  disposed  of 
in  a  day),  and  the  fact  that  no  Indian  was 
given  an  opportunity  to  make  any  defense  or 
even  to  know  what  he  was  accused  of,  made  the 
proceedings  of  this  tribunal  much  of  a  farce. 
Our  modern  courts  spend  twice  to  five  times 
as  long  trying  one  murderer  than  that  court 
spent  trying  425.  Many  of  the  convictions 
were  secured  on  the  sole  testimony  of  a  colored 
man  named,  Godfrey,  who  had  joined  the  Indi- 
ans'and  married  a  squaw  and  by  his  own  con- 
fession was  one  of  the  worst  murderers .  and 
villians  among  them  all,,  and  whose  own  neck 
was  to  be  saved  in  consideration  of  his  testi- 
mony against  the  Indians.  The  otl^er  convic- 
tions were  obtained  by  some  woman  or  child 
picking  out  this  or  that  Indian  and  saying  "he 
killed  my  husband,"  "he  killed  my  parents." 
They  doubtless  thought  so,  but  as  a  matter  of 
fact  he  may  have  looked  like  him,  for  to  a 
stranger  all  Indians  look  much  alike.  Doubt- 
less among  the  Indians  convicted  there  were 
many  who  were  guilty,  but  there  is  no  question, 
but  that  there  were  many,  also,  who  were  inno- 
cent. Most  of  the  guilty  ones  did  not  dare  sur- 
render themselves  to  the  whites,  but  fled  with 
Little  Crow  into  the  far  Korthwest. 

On  November  7,  1862,  the  military  Commis- 
sion having  finished  its  duties,  those  acquitted, 
with  the  squaws  and  papooses,  were  sent  to 
Ft.  Snelling,  where  they  were  kept  all  winter, 
except  forty  or  fifty  squaws,  who  went  with 
those  adjudged  guilty  as  cooks.  The  convicted 
ones  were  chained  together  and  loaded  into 
wagons  and  brought  to  camp  Lincoln,  which 
was  located  on  the  flat  land  in  West  Mankato 


wS(tl^,ig£ss»'^ 

1 

JiUBL'^"-~^~ 

1 

Jl^ii 

i 

u 

sterling, 
Horcb,' 


HOKCB    CM    CMORCM 


BLUE  eflRTH    R1U6B 


»■     ■SAUeM    CO(\iSRe«AT10N*L  CHllRtM-CAfOBmfl 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


127 


lying  between  Front  Street  and  the  mound  in 
Sibley  Park.  At  New  Ulm  a  mob  rushed  upon 
the  Indians  with  clubs  and  stones  and.  in  spite 
of  the  guards,  a  number  of  the  Indians  were 
injured.  The  German  women,  whose  relatives 
had  been  murdered,  were  especially  furious. 
Many  of  the  settlers  of  Butternut  Valley,  Jnd- 
son.  South  Bend  and  other  parts  of  the  county 
were  employed  with  their  teams  in  transport- 
ing these  convicts.  The  army  and  Indians 
made  a  train  nearly  two  miles  long. 

It  was  General  Sibley's  intention  to  have  the 
303  sentenced  to  be  hung  executed  at  once,  but 
the  religious  sentiment  of  the  east  was  so  shock- 
ed by  the  idea  of  hanging  so  many  human  be- 
ings at  once,  especially  in  view  of  the  provocation 
they  had  for  the  outbreak,  that  President  Lin- 
coln was  induced  to  interfere  and  ordered  that 
none  be  executed  until  he  had  approved  their 
sentence.  General  John  Pope,  who  had  been  put 
in  command  of  the  Sioux  Campaign,  telegraphed 
back  the  names  of  the  condemned  Indians,  a 
message  which  cost  the  government  $400.00. 
President  Lincoln  replied  by  requesting  that  all 
the  evidence  upon  which  the  Indians  had  been 
condemned  be  forwarded  to  him  by  mail.  On 
receipt  of  the  evidence  the  President  turned  it 
over  to  Geo.  C.  Whiting  and  Francis  H.  Buggies, 
two  of  his  clerks,  with .  instructions  to  examine 
it  and  select  forty  of  the  worst  ones.  This  they 
did,  and  on  Dec.  6th,  1862,  the  President  pigned 
an  order  approving  the  sentence  imposed  on 
these  forty  and  fixing  Friday  Dec.  19th,  1862, 
as  the  day  for  the  execution.,  The  list  thus  se- 
lected by  President  Lincoln  and  the  crimes  for 
which  they  were  convicted  were  as  follows: 

(1).  0-ta-kla  (alias  Godfrey),  A  negro  en- 
gaged extensively  in  the  massacre,  but  on  ac- 
count of  turning  states'  evidence  his  sentence  is 
commuted  to  ten  years  in  prison. 

(3).  Te-he-hdo-ne-cha  (One  who  Forbids 
His  House)  Taking  wlilte  woman  prisoner  and 
ravishing  her;  and  being  otherwise  engaged  in 
the  massacre. 

(3.)  Ta-zoo  alias  Plan-doo-ta  (Ecd  Otter) 
Jl^urder  of  Patwell   and  ravishing  a  "\oung  girl. 

(4).  Wy-a-tah-to-wah  (His  Peoplo)  Partici- 
pated in  murder  of  Patwell. 

(5).     Hin-han-shoon-ko-yas-ma-ne     (One    who 


walks  clothed  in  an  Owl's  tail.)  Jlurder  of 
Alexander  Hunter  and  taking  jMrs.  Hunter  pris- 
oner. 

(6).  Maz-za-boom-doo  (Iron  Blower)  Mur- 
der   of   an    old   man    and   two    children. 

(r).  Wa-pa-doo-tah  (Red  Leaf).  Shot  a 
white  man.  (He  was  an  old  man,  admitted  he 
shot  at  the  man  through  a  window,  but  did  not 
think  he  killed  him.  He  also  admitted  he  was 
wounded  at  Battle  of  New  LHm). 

(8).  Wa-he-hua  (]\Ieaning  of  name  un- 
known). Murder.  (He  claimed  the  witness  lied, 
that  he  did  not  kill  anybody,  that  if  he  had 
killed  any  white  man  he  would  have  fled  with 
Little   Crow.) 

(9).  Qua-ma-ne  (Tinkling  Walker),  Mur- 
der of  two  persons.  (Convicted  on  testimony  of 
two  German  boys.  He  claimed  the  bo3's  were 
jiiistaken  as  he  was  not  at  the  place  at  all.) 

(10).  Ta-tah-me-ma  (Round  Wind),  Miwdcr 
and  capture  of  women  and  children.  (He  was 
an  old  man,  a  brother-in-law  of  the  well  known 
Joseph  Renville.  He  had  been  the  public  crier 
for  Little  Crow  before  and  during  the  massacre, 
but  after  the  battle  of  Wood  Lake  joined  the  In- 
dians opposed  to  the  massacre,  and  was  their 
public  crier  at  Camp  Release,  when  the  cap- 
tives were  delivered  up.  He  was  the  only  one 
of  the  forty,  who  had  been  at  all  in  the  habit  of 
attending  Protestant  worship  and  on  the  Sabbath 
before  he  knew  that  he  was  one  of  those  to  be 
hung,  he  had  professed  repentence  and  faith 
in  Christ  and  been  baptized  by  Dr.  Williamson. 
He  had  been  convicted  on  the  testimony  of  two 
Gorman  boys,  who  said  they  saw  him  kill  their 
mother.  He  strenuously  denied  the  accusation. 
Dr.  Williamson  took  up  his  case  and  on  inves- 
tigation showed  conclusively  that  the  bo^'s  were 
mistaken,  for  on  the  very  day  their  mother  was 
killed  Round  Wind  was  many  miles  away  help- 
ing some  whites  to  escape.  Dr.  Williamson  sent 
this  evidence  at  once  to  President  Lincoln  and 
a  few  hours  before  the  execution  he  telegraphed 
a  reprieve.  The  old  man  always  attributed 
hi's  rescue  from  the  gallows  as  a  direct  interven- 
tion of  Providence). 

(11).  Rda-in-Yan-ka  (Rattling  Runner), 
Participated  actively  in  the  New  Ulm  battle. 
(He    denied    the    charge    but    admitted    he    was 


128 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


opposed  to  the  delivery  of  the  captives  to  the 
friendly   Indians) . 

(12).  Do-wan-sa  (The  Singer).  Murder  of 
a  woman  in  the  Swan  Lake  neighhorhood  and 
an  attempt  to  ravish  her  daughter,  who  was 
Icilled  by  another  Indian  before  he  could  accom- 
plish his  purpose.  (He  admitted  being  present 
and  that  two  men  and  two  women  were  killed 
by  his  companions  in  his  presence,  but  denied 
he  took  any  part). 

(13).  Ha-pan  (Second  Child,  if  a  Son). 
Participated  in  murder  of  Patwell  and  took 
Miss  Williams  prisoner.  (Admitted  he  was  pres- 
ent when  Patwell  was  killed,  but  claimed  an- 
other Indian  did  the  killing.  Admitted  he  took 
Miss   Williams  as   a  prisoner.) 

(14).  Shoon-ka-ska  (White  Dog)  Leader  in 
the  ambush  at  Lower  Agency  ferry,  when  Capt. 
Marsh  and  half  his  command  were  murdered. 
(He  claims  his  action  on  this  occasion  was  mis- 
understood by  the  whites.  That  he  was  for 
peace  and  did  not  give  the  signal  for  the  In- 
dians to  fire  on  Capt.  Marsh  and  his  men.) 

(15).  Toon-kan-e-chah-tay-ma-ne.  (One  who 
Walks  by  his  Grandfather).  Murder  of  a  man 
in  a  wagon  and  participating  otherwise  in  the 
massacre.  (Claimed  the  killing  in  question  was 
done  by  another  Indian  and  that  the  only 
wrong  he  did  was  to  take  a  blanket  from  one  of 
the  stores  at  the  Lower  Agency.) 

(16).  E-tay-doo-tah  (Bed  Pace),  Murder 
of  Mr.  Divoll  and  seven  other  white  persons  on 
North  side  of  the  Minnesota,  and  also  the  mur- 
der of  another  man  and  woman.  (Denied  the 
charge  but  admitted  being  present  when  murders 
were  committed.) 

(17).  Am-da-cha  (Broken  to  Pieces)  Tak- 
ing David  Faribault  prisoner  and  killing  two 
persons  at  his  house.  (Admitted  he  went  with 
hostile  Indians  and  shot  his  gun  off  twice,  but 
did  not  think  he  killed  anyone.  Took  some 
goods  from   Forbes   store.) 

(18).  Hay-pe-dan  (Third  Child,  if  a  Son) 
Cut  Mrs.  Thieler  with  tomahawk  and  engaged 
in  Massacre.  (Admitted  being  in  three  of  the 
battles  and  firing  his  gun  six  times,  that  he 
captured  a  woman  and  two  children,  and  that 
he  stole  two  horses.) 

(19).  Mah-pe-o-ke-ni-jin,   (Who  stands  on  the 


Cloud)  Usually  called  "Cut  Nose"  from  a  dis- 
figurement of  his  nasal  organ  by  an  accident. 
Murder  of  Antoine  Young  and  a  white  man  and 
woman.  He  denied  the  charge  but  admitted 
to  have  fired  his  gun  a  few  times.  It  was  after- 
vrards  proven  that  this  old  villain  had  killed 
nineteen  women  and  children  in  a  wagon  by 
braining  them  with  his  tomahawk.) 

(20).  Henry  Milord,  a  half  breed,  partici- 
pating in  the  murder  of  a  man  and  woman.  (He 
was  a  bright  young  man,  who  had  been  brought 
up  at  the  home  of  General  Sibley.  He  claimed 
he  was  forced  to  go  with  the  hostiles  to  save 
his  own  life.  Admitted  he  fired  his  gun  at  a 
Avoman,  but  did   not  think  he  killed  her.) 

(21).  Chas-kay-dan  (The  first  born,  if  a 
son).  Shooting  and  cutting  a  woman  with  child. 
(Admitted  being  at  Lower  Agency  when  mas- 
sacre was  in  progress.  That  he  went  to  Eed- 
Vv'ood  with  a  friend  and  on  the  way  they  met 
Mr.  Gleason  and  J\Irs.  Wakefield  and  her  child- 
ren, that  his  friend  shot  Gleason  and  that  he 
saved   Mrs.   Wakefield   and  children.) 

(22).  Baptiste  Campbell,  a  half  breed,  mur- 
der of  man  and  woman.  (He  was  a  son  of 
Scott  Campbell,  who  for  many  years  was  Sioux 
interpreter  at  Fort  Snelling  and  a  brother  of  John 
Campbell,  who  was  later  hanged  at  Mankato 
for  the  Jewett  murder.  He  claimed  to  have 
been  forced  into  the  massacre  by  the  soldier's 
lodge,  but  did  not  know  that  he  had  killed  any- 
body, though  he  had  fired  hi^  gun  a  few  times 
in  two  or  three  of  the  battles.) 

(23).  Ta-ta-ka-gay  (Windmaker)  Murder  of 
Amos  W.  Huggins.  (He  was  only  seventeen  or 
eighteen  years  old,  grandson  of  Sacred  Walker, 
who  took  care  of  Mrs.  Josephine  Huggins  and 
her  children  during  their  captivity.  Claimed 
another  Indian  induced  him  to  go  with  him  to 
Huggins  house.  This  other  Indian  shot  Mr. 
Huggins  and  had  escaped  with  Little  Crow,  but 
he  admitted  firing  off  his  gun  in  the  air.  The 
probability,  however,  is  that  the  other  Indian 
was  the  most  guilty,  and  that  Windmaker  died 
for  his  indiscretion  in  being  in  bad  company.) 

(24).  Hay-pink-pa  (The  Tip  of  the  Horn) 
Murder  of  Stewart  B.  Garvie.  (He  had  boasted 
before  the  hostile  Indians  in  the  presence  of 
Godfrey  that  he  had  killed  ilr.  Garvie  with  a  bow 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


129 


and  arrow.  He  claimed  he  had  lied  about  it  in 
order  to  throw  off  suspicion  that  he  was  friendly 
to  the  whites.  The  fact  that  Garvie  had  not 
been  shot  by  an  arrow  at  all  confirmed  his 
statement,  and  he  probably  was  innocent  of  the 
charge,  and  was  hung  simply  because  he  lied. 
Having  a  conscience  free  from  guilt  he  trusted 
the  Great  Spirit  to  save  him  in  the  other  world). 

(25).  Hypolite  Auge,  a  half  breed,  murder 
cf  white  man  and  woman.  (He  claimed  to 
have  been  a  clerk  in  one  of  the  stores  for  a  year 
previous  to  the  outbreak,  that  when  the  out- 
break occurred  the  full  bloods  were  very  sus- 
picious of  all  the  half  breeds,  that  they  were 
favorable  to  the  whites  and  that  to  save  their 
own  scalps  they  had  to  pretend  to  be  hostile, 
which  was  doubtless  true.  That  he  had  fired 
at  the  body  of  a  dead  man  in  order  to  tell  the 
'Indians  he  had  shot  a  white  man.) 

(26).  Na-pa-shue  (One  Who  Does  Not  Flee) 
boasted  he  had  killed  nineteen  persons.  (Claimed 
he  was  forced  into  the  war,  but  did  not  kill 
any-one.) 

(27).  "\Ya-kan-tan-ka  (Great  Spirit)  murder 
of  white  man.  (Claimed  he  was  present  when 
some  white  men  were  killed,  but  he  did  not  kill 
any,  that  the  witness  lied  about  him.) 

(38).  Toon-kan-ko-yag-e-na-jin  (One  who 
Stands  Clothed  with  his  Grandfather.)  Mur- 
der of  white  man  at  Big  Woods.  (Admitted 
being  in  battle  of  Birch  Cooley  and  battle  of 
Hutchinson,  but  did  not  know  that  he  killed 
anyone.) 

(29).  Ma-ka-te-na-jin  (One  who  stands  on 
the  Earth)  Jlurder  near  Xew  Ulm.  (Was  an  old 
man.  Admitted  he  was  at  Battle  of  Xew  Ulm, 
but  claimed  he  had  not  used  a  gun  for  years,  and 
had  not  killed  anyone.  His  two  sons  had  been 
killed  in  the  war.) 

(30).  Pa-za-koo-tay-ma-ne  (One  who  walks 
prepared  to  Shoot)  Participated  in  the  murder  of 
eight  white  men.  (Said  he  was  out  with  a  war 
party  against  the  Chippeway  when  outbreak  oc- 
curred, and  that  it  was  over  when  he  got  back. 
That  the  commiss'oners  misunderstood  him;  he 
Ciifl  not  kill  any  white  man.  When  commissioners 
asked  him  if  he  was  in  a  war  party  and  had 
fired  a  gun  and  he  answered  "Yes"  he  meant 
against  the  Chippeway  and  not  the  whites.) 


(31).  Ta-ta-hde-dan  (Wind  Comes  Home) 
;\lurder  at  Beaver  Creek  and  capturing  white 
woman.  (Said  the  men  of  Eice  Creek  were  au- 
thors of  the  outbreak  and  he  opposed  it;  denied 
the  charge  against  him.) 

(32).  Wa-she-choon  (Frenchman  or  White 
roan)  ilurder  of  LeButt's  son.  (He  was  a  full 
blooded  white  boy  only  sixteen  years  old,  but 
his  white  origin  was  not  known  at  the  time  of 
the  hanging.  He  had  been  bom  at  a  lumber 
camp  upon  the  llississippi,  and  his  parents  had 
both  died  soon  thereafter.  Left  thus  an  orphan 
l)abe  in  a  lumber  camp  he  was  given  to  a  squaw, 
who  had  brought  him  up  as  her  own  boy,  among 
the  Indians.  He  said  he  had  nothing  to  do  with 
the  killing  of  white  people,  that  he  was  to  die 
for  no  crime,  and  was  very  much  affected.  The 
Indians  afterwards  admitted  that  he  was  inno- 
cent and  his  case  was  a  sad  one.) 

(33).  A-e-cha-ga  (To  grow  Upon)  Murder 
of  an  old  man  and  two  girls.  (Made  no  confession 
or  denial.) 

(34.)  Ha-ta-pin-koo  (Voice  that  Appears 
Coming)  Murder  of  man  at  Green  Lake.  (Said 
he  had  no  gun,  but  that  he  had  hit  a  man  with  a 
hatchet  after  another  Indian  had  shot  him.) 

(35).  Chay-tan-hoon-ka.  (The  Parent  Hawk) 
Murder  at  Beaver  Creek  (Said  he  was  down  at 
Ft.  Eidgely  and  at  Beaver  Creek  and  took  some 
horses,  but  did  not  kill  anybody.) 

(36).-  Chan-ka-hda  (Near  the  Woods)  Pres- 
ent when  Patwell  was  killed,  and  saved  Mary 
Anderson  from  death,  after  she  had  been  woun- 
ded, and  took  her  prisoner.  (Admitted  he  took 
Mary  Anderson,  but  it  was  to  save  her  from  be- 
ing killed  by  another  Indian,  who  had  shot  her; 
thought  it  hard  that  he  should  be  hanged  for 
a  good  deed.) 

(37).  Hda-hin-day  (To  Make  a  Eattling 
Noise  Suddenly)  Murder  of  two  children. 
(Claimed  he  was  north  at  time  of  outbreak, 
and  did  not  return  until  it  was  over.  Ad- 
mitted he  was  at  battle 'of  Wood  Lake,  but  said 
tlie  charge  against  him  was  entirely  false.) 

(38).  0-ya-tay-a-koo  (The  coming  People) 
Murder  of  Patwell.  Admitted  he  was  with  the 
parties  who  killed  Patwell,  but  denied  the  charge 
of  striking  him  with  his  hatchet.) 

(39).     Ma-hoo-way-ma    (He    comes    for    Me) 


130 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


Murder  at  Travelers  Home.  (Admitted  being  out 
in  one  of  the  raids  towards  the  Big  Woods,  and 
that  he  struck  a  woman  with  his  tomahawk, 
who  had  been  killed  by  another  Indian,  but 
declared  he  had  killed  none;  was  himself 
v/ounded.) 

(40).  Wa-kin-yan-wa  (Little  Thunder)  Par- 
ticipating in  murder  near  Travelers  Home  of  old 
man,  two  girls  and  two  boys.  (Denied  the  charge, 
said  he  was  accused  of  killing  Coursall's  child, 
but  the  child  was  now  living,  he  had  done  noth- 
ing worthy   of  death.) 

On  receipt  of  the  order  for  execution  prepa- 
rations were  made  at  once  to  carry  it  into  effect. 
It  was  discovered  soon  that  there  was  not 
enough  rope  in  Mankato  of  suitable  size  and  qual- 
ity and  that  it  could  not  be  gotten  by  the  19th, 
so  a  request  -fras  telegraphed  to  the  President 
for  a  postponement  of  the  execution  for  one 
week,  which  was  granted. 

Let  us  now  return  in  our  history  three  or 
four  weeks.  About  Oct.  10th,  1863,  the  35th 
Wis.,  was  sent  to  Mankato  and  its  colonel,  M. 
Montgomery,  succeeded  Judge  Plandrau  in  com- 
mand of  the  military  district  of  Southern  Min- 
nesota, with  headquarters  at  Mankato.  In  about 
three  weeks  he  and  his  regiment  were  ordered 
South,  and  Col.  Stephen  Miller,  of  the  7th 
Minn.,  was  appointed  in  his  place. 

The  people  of  Blue  Earth  and  adjoining  coun- 
ties expected  that  Gen.  Sibley  would  hang  the 
303  sentenced  to  death  immediately  and  the 
delay  made  them  very  impatient.  About  the , 
last  of  November,  while  the  Indians  were  still 
confined  at  Camp  Lincoln  a  number  of  Mankato 
citizens  with  a  few  from  New  Ulm  and  other 
adjoining  towns  formed  themselves  into  a  vigi- 
lance committee,  and  one  night  started  out  with 
intent  to  have  the  vengeance  of  the  law  inflicted-, 
forthwith.  The  authorities  had  discovered  their 
design  and  when  they  reached  the  west  side  of 
the  Van  Brunt  slough,  they  suddenly  found 
themselves  surrounded  by  a  cordon  of  bayonets. 
Their  ardor  for  hanging  Indians  took  a  very 
great  and  sudden  chill  and  as  soon  as  the  oppor- 
tunity offered  all  made  haste  to  reach  their 
respective  homes.  On  Dec.  3rd,  a  public  meeting 
convened  to  urge  thfe  speedy  execution  of  the 
Indians  and  resolutions  were  adopted  to  that  ef- 


Early  in  December  the  Indians  were  removed 
from  Camp  Lincoln  to  log  buildings  that  had 
been  constructed  for  them,  between  the  Leech 
stone  building  and  the  frame  building,  which 
then  occupied  the  location  of  Fred  Kron's  pres- 
ent store. 

The  original  ordei"  for  the  execution  was 
signed  by  Col.  Miller  at  St.  Paul  on  Dee.  17th 
and  brought  to  Mankato  by  a  special  courier,  . 
who  arrived  about  midnight.  Copies  were  im- 
mediately printed  at  the  Record  Office  by  Mr. 
J.  C.  Wise,  which  were  distributed  the  next 
morning  to  the  various  military  posts  in  south- 
western Minnesota.     It  read  as  follows: 

SPECIAL    ORDER   NO.    11. 

HEADQUARTERS    INDIAN   POST,   MANKATO,   DEC. 

17th,   1862. 

The  President  of  the  United  States,  having  directed 
the  execution  of  thirty-nine  of  the  Sioux  Indians  and 
halfbreed  prisoners  in  my  charge,  on  Friday,  the 
26th  instant,  he  having  postponed  the  time  from  the 
igth  instant,  said  execution  will  be  carried  into  ef- 
fect in  front  of  the  Indian  prison  at  this  place  on 
that  day  at  10  o'clock  A.  M.  The  executive  also 
enjoins  that  no  others  of  the  prisoners  he  allowed 
to  escape,  and  that  they  be  protected  for  the  future 
disposition  of  the  Government;  and  these  orders  will 
be  executed  by  the  military  force  at  my  disposal  with 
utmost  fidelity. 

The  aid  of  all  good  citizens  is  invoked  to  maintain 
the  Jaw  and  constitutional  authority  of  the  land  on 
that  occasion.  The  State  of  Minnesota  must  not,  in 
addition  to  the  terrible  wrongs  and  outrages  inflicted 
upon  her  by  the  murderous  savages,  suffer,  if  pos- 
sible, still  more  fatally,  in  her  prosperity  and  reputa- 
tion, at  the  hands  of  a  few  of  our  misguided,  though 
deeply    Injured    fellow   citizens. 

STEPHEN  MILLER, 
Col.   7th  Minn.  Regt.  Vol. 
Commanding    Post. 

On  December  33nd,  the  Post  Adjutant,  J.  K. 
Arnold  issued  an  order  forbidding  the  sale  or 
giving  away  of  any  intoxicating  liquors  to  any 
soldier  within  a  radius  of  ten  miles  of  Mankato, 
and  another  order  of  the  same  date  requesting 
Col.  B.  P.  Smith  of  Mankato,  Major  W.  H. 
Dike  of  Faribault,  Hon.  Henry  A.  Swift  and 
H.  W.  Lamberton  of  St.  Peter,  Edwin  Bradley 
and  E.  H.  Dike  of  Mankato  and  Reuben  Butters 
of  Kasota,  with  such  other  good  citizens  as  they 
might  select,  to  act  as  mounted  citizen  marshalls . 
on  Friday  the  36th  inst..  Col.  B.  F.  Smith  as - 
chief  and  the  others  as  assistants. 

On  this  same  date,  Monday,  Dec.  33nd,  with 
the  aid  of  Rev.  S.  R.  Riggs,  Maj.  Joseph  E. 
Brown   and   others,   the  39   condemned  men  in- 


m STORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


131 


from  the  other  Indians,  and  removed  to  the 
rear  room  of  the  lower  floor  of  the  Leech  huild- 
ing,  where  thereafter  they  were  kept  apart  from 
the  other  Indians  under  special  guard.  Here  at 
2  :30  P.  M.  of  this  same  Monday  they  were  visi- 
ted by  Col.  Miller  and  his  stafE,  and  their  sen- 
tence and  order  for  execution  read  to  them,  Eev. 
Eiggs,  acting  as  interpreter.  Col.  Miller  then 
spoke  to  them  in  substance  as  follows : 

"The  commanding  officer  at  this  place  has 
called  to  speak  to  you  upon  a  very  serious  sub- 
ject this  afternoon.  Your  Great  Father  at 
"Washington,  after  carefully  reading  what  the 
witnesses  have  testified  in  you.r  several  trials,  has 
come  to  the  conclusion,  that  you  each  have  been 
guilty  of  wantonly  and  wickedly  murdering  his 
white  children;  and  for  this  reason  has  direc- 
ted that  you  each  be  hanged  by  the  neck  until 
you  are  dead,  on  next  Friday,  and  that  order 
will  be  carried  into  effect  on  that  day,  at  ten 
o'clock  in  the  forenoon.  Good  ministers,  both 
Catholic  and  Protestant,  are  here,  from  amongst 
whom  each  of  you  can  select  your  spiritual  ad- 
visor, who  will  be  permitted  to  commune  with 
you  constantly  during  the  four  days  that  you  are 
yet  to  live."  The  Colonel  also  instructed  Eev. 
Eiggs,  to  tell  them  that  they  had  sinned  so  against 
their  fellowmen  that  there  is  no  hope  for  clem- 
ency, except  in  the  mercy  of  God,  through  the 
merits  of-  the  Blessed  Eedeemer,  and  that  he 
earnestly  exhort  them  to  apply  to  that  as  their 
only  remaining  source  of  consolation. 

The  occasion,  says  John  C.  "Wise,  who  was  a 
personal  witness  and  to  Avhom  we  are  indebted 
for  many  of  the  facts,  was  one  of  much  solem- 
nity. With  the  stoicism  characteristic  of  their 
race,  the  Indians  betrayed  not  the  least  emotion, 
but  sat  composedly,  half  of  them  smoking  their 
pipes,  during  the  entire  interview.  They  lis- 
tened attentively  and  grunted  their  approval  at 
the  end  of  each  sentence.  Some  of  the  half 
breeds  could  not  wholly  conceal  their  nervousness. 
Thirty-two  selected  Father  Eavaux  as  their 
spiritual  advisor  and  eight  chose  Dr.  "Williamson. 
Dr.  Eiggs,  because  of  his  position  as  government 
interpreter  could  not  be  selected.  Tuesday,  Dec. 
23rd,  they  extemporized  a  wild  song  and  dance, 
vrhich  performance  was  ^ery  wierd  and  solemn. 
'A'ednesday  afternoon  each  was  permitted  to  see 


two  or  three  of  his  friends  and  relatives  from 
the  main  prison  in  order  to  bid  them  a  final 
adieu.  The  interviews  are  described  as  very 
sad  and  affecting.  Each  had  messages  to  send  to 
their  absent  relatives.  Those  who  liad  wives  and 
children  were  affected  to  tears  when  sending 
messages  to  them.  In  most  cases  the  children 
nx're  counseled  to  become  Christians  and  to  a 
life  of  good  feeling  towards  the  whites.  In  shak- 
ing hands  with  Eed  Iron  and  Akipee,  Tazoo 
said :  "Last  summer  3'ou  were  both  opposed  to  the 
massacre,  you  lived  in  constant  apprehension  of 
an  attack  from  those  who  were  determined  on 
an  extermination  of  the  whites.  Many  taunts, 
insults  and  threats  were  heaped  upon  you  and 
your  families,  but  you  continued  firm  in  your 
friendship  to  the  paleface  and  counseled  peace. 
"We  now  see  the  wisdom  of  your  words."  Some 
were  wholly  overcome  by  their  feeling  at  the  final 
parting,  while  others  put  on  an  air  of  indif- 
ference. A  great  many  wrote  letters  to  their 
relatives  and  friends  which  they  sent  by  Father 
Eavaux,  Dr.  Williamson  or  Eev.  Eiggs.  The 
following  letter  was  ■\\Titten  by  Eev.  Eiggs  at  the 
dictation  of  one  of  the  Indians  and  in  his  exact 
words  and   might  do  credit  to   any  white  man : 

XA'abaslia,  you  have  deceived  me.  You  told  me 
that  if  we  followed  the  advice  of  Gen.  Sibley,  and 
give  ourselves  up  to  the  whites,  all  would  be  well, 
no  innocent  man  would  be  injured.  I  have  not  killed, 
wounded  or  injured  a  white  man,  or  any  white  per- 
son. I  have  not  participated  in  the  plunder  of  their 
property;  and  yet  today  I  am  set  apart  for  execution 
and  must  die  in  a  few  days,  while  men  who  are 
guilty  remain  in  prison,  lly  wife  is  your  daughter, 
my  children  are  your  grandchildren.  I  leave  them  all 
in  your  care  and  under  your  protection.  Do  not  let 
them  suffer,  and  when  my  children  are  grown  up 
>let  them  know  that  their  father  died  because  he 
.followed  the  advice  of  his  chief,  and  without  hav- 
ing the  blood  of  a.  white  man  to  answer  for  to  the 
Great  Spirit. 

My  wife  and  children  are  dear  to  me.  Let  them 
not  grieve  for  me.  Let  them  remember  that  the 
brave  should  be  prepared  to  meet  death,  and  I  will 
do    so    as    becomes    a    Dakota. 

Your    son-in-law, 

RDA-IN-YAN-KA. 

In  response  to  a  petition  signed  by  many  citi- 
zens requesting  that  all  saloons  he  closed  for 
three  days,  including  the  day  of  the  execuBon 
the  day  before  and  the  day  after,  Col.  ]\Tiller 
on  Wednesday  issued  an  order  declaring  martial 
law  over  all  the  territory  within  a  radius  of 
ten    miles    of   his   headquarters,    and    prohibiting 


132 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


the  sale,  gift  or  use  of  any  intoxicating  liquors, 
iacluding  wines,  beer  and  malt  liquors,  within 
that  territory  between  the  hours  of  three  o'clock 
A.  M.  of  Thursday,  the  25th  of  Dec,  and,  11 
o'clock  P.  M.,  of  Saturday,  Dec.  27th,  1862, 
which  was  rigorously  and  effectively  enforced. 

On  Dec.  23rd  and  21th  a  detachment  of  men 
under  Col.  Marshall  were  employed  constructing 
the  gallows.  B.  D.  Pay  as  deputy  sheriff  as- 
sisted in  this  work.  It  was  built  on  the  levee 
directly  across  the  street  from  the  front  door 
of  the  Leech  building,  about  in  the  northeast 
corner  of  what  is  now  known  as  Lot  18  of  Wil- 
lard  and  Barney's  Exchange,  its  northern  side 
projecting  probably  a  little  onto  the  southeast 
corner  of  Lot  19  and  its  eastern  side  may  have 
projected  into  the  street  two  or  three-  feet.  It 
was  made  of  heavy,  square,  white  oak  timbers, 
and  was  twenty-four  feet  square.  There  were 
eight  upright  posts,  each  a  foot  square  and  14 
feet  high,  one  at  each  corner  and  one  in  the  cen- 
ter of  each  side,  set  into  sills  below,-  and  into 
plates  a  foot  square  above.  A  series  of  ten  not- 
ches were  cut  in  the  upper  edges  of  each  of  the 
four  plates,  making  notched  places  for  forty 
ropes  in  all,  the  notches  being  made  to  avoid 
any  sharp  strain  on  the  ropes.  This  frame  work 
was  strongly  mortised  and  pinned  together  and 
looked  like  the  frame  of  an  old-fashioned  barn, 
without  rafters.  In  the  center  of  the  enclosure 
thus  formed  a  large  heavy  timber  was  set  firm- 
ly into  the  ground,  like  a  post,  twenty  feet  high, 
the  upper  half  of  which  was  rounded  and  smoothed 
and  a  little  smaller  than  the  lower  half.  A  ring 
fitted  loosely  about  this  rounded  portion  of  the 
post,  which  could  be  moved  readily  up  and  down 
it.  This  was  first  made  of  iron,  but  that  not 
being  strong  enough,  a  piece  of  stout  cable  was 
substituted.  A  strongly  framed  platform  in  the 
shape  of  a  side  walk  about  three  to  four  feet 
wide  and  lying  half  within  and  half  without  the 
upright  timbers,  ran  around  the  whole  struc- 
ture, a  plank  of  the  covering  being  left  out  at 
the  place  where  each  of  the  eight  posts  projected 
tlirough  it.  This  platform  was  so  constructed 
that  it  could  be  moved  up  and  down  on  these-^ 
outside  posts.  To  this  platform  eight  ropes 
were  fastened  which  centered  and  were  attached 
at  their  other  end  to  the  ring  about  the  center 


post.  The  whole  was  so  adjusted  that  when  the 
I'ing  was  at  the  top  of  the  center  post  the  plat- 
form was  suspended  about  five  to  six  feet  above 
the  ground.  To  hold  the  ring  in  place,  a  strong 
rope  was  attached  to  it  and  passed  over  the  top 
of  the  center  post,  and  then  brought  down  and 
securely  fastened  at  its  foot.  The  cutting  of  this 
rope  would  loosen  the  ring,  and  the  whole  plat- 
form would  drop  of  its  own  weight  at  once. 
Forty  to  fifty  soldiers  were  marched  a  few  times 
on  the  platform  to  test  it.  On  Christmas  day 
Col.  Miller  issued  the  following  order  as  to  the 
execution : 

GENERAL  ORDER  NO.  23. 

HEADQUARTERS    INDIAN    POST,    MANKATO,    Dec. 

25th,    1862. 

First:  The  officer  of  the  day  and  officer  of  the 
guard  will  be  relieved  respectively  by  Capt.  Burt  and 
Lieut.  Carter  at  8:30  o'clock  A.  M.  tomorrow.  The 
present  guard  to  continue  on  duty  until  relieved  in 
the  afternoon,  Capt.  Burt  to  direct  that  his  detail 
be   furnished  with   breakfast. 

Second:  Capt.  G.  D.  Redfield,  provost  marshal,  will 
promptly  exclude  all  persons  from  the  room  of  the 
sentenced  convicts  at  7  o'clock,  and  having  them  un- 
manacled,  with  pinioned  arms,  and  ready  for  execu- 
tion, will  pass  them  through  the  guard  room,  and 
deliver  them  at  the  gallows  to  the  officer  of  the  day 
(Capt.  Burt)  for  execution.  He  will  see  that  the 
staples  and  manacles  are  preserved  for  future  use. 
And  that  the  prisoner  "Godfrey"  is  duly  returned 
to  the  old  prison.  Lieut.  Carter,  as  officer  of  the 
guard,  will  at  9  o'clock  close  the  door  of  the  guard 
house,  open  the  communicating  door  with  the  prison, 
allow  no  person  except  his  guard  to  enter,  and  with 
the  two  reliefs,  (who  for  the  moment  will  stack 
their  arms)  will,  under  the  direction  of  Capt.  Red- 
field,  conduct  the  convicts  to  the  scaffold,  between 
the  two  files  of  soldiers,  which  will  be  stationed  on 
the  route. 

Third:  The  officer  of  the  day,  Capt.  Burt,  will 
receive  the  convicts  at  the  scaffold  and  supervise 
and  conduct  the  execution.  For  this  purpose  he  will 
detail  eight  men,  one  to  each  section  of  the  platform, 
to  act  as  executioners,  and  two  men  with  axes  to 
be  ready  for  any  emergency.  When  all  is  ready, 
he  will  give  the  order  to  Maj.  J,  R.  Brown,  signal 
oft'icer,  who  will  beat  three  distinct  taps  upon  the 
drum.  At  the  third  stroke,  Wm.  J.  Duly,  (mounted 
scout)  will  cut  the  rope.  After  the  execution  the 
officer  of  the  day  will,  with  his  detail,  collect  all 
ropes  and  small  fixtures  of  the  occasion  and  deposit 
them  carefully  at  these  headquarters.  He  will  of 
course,  have  all  the  ropes  and  necessary  fixtures  ad- 
justed   previous    to   the    execution. 

Fourth:  Drs.  Seignorette  and  Finch  will  examine 
the  bodies  and  communicate  the  death  of  the  pris- 
oners to  the  officer  of  the  day. 

Fifth:  Four  teams  containing  shovels  will  be  fur- 
nished by  quartermaster  Cutter,  in  which  the  bodies 
win  be  deposited  by  Capt.  Burt's  company  (R.  Minn. 
7th),  previous  to  which  they  will  stack  arms,  and 
will,   without   their   arms,   act   as   a   burial   party. 

Sixth:  The  wagons  containing,  the  remains  and  the 
above  burial  party  will  proceed  under  an  armed  es- 
cort, which  will  be  provided,  and  enter  the  bodies  of 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


133 


the  executed  men.  The  whole  to  be  under  the  com- 
mand of  Lieut.  Col.  Marshall.  By  order  of  the 
Colonel    commanding. 

J.   K.    ARNOLD, 
Post   Adjutant. 

On  the  afternoon  of  this  same  Christmas,  the 
squaws,  who  were  acting  as  cooks,  were  permitted 
to  bid  goodbye  to  the  condemned  men,  among 
whom  a  number  had  relatives.  Though  the 
parting  was  sad,  there  was  not  so  much  demon- 
stration of  grief  as  the  day  before,  for  an  In- 
dian thinks  it  very  unmanly  to  show  emotion 
before  a  woman.  Father  Ravaux  and  Dr.  Wil- 
liamson remained  with  the  condemned  men  all 
this  last  night.  Father  Ravaux  was  assisted  by 
Father  Sommereisen.  Thirty-three  of  the  con- 
victs, including  the  three  half  breeds,  were  bap- 
tised into  the  Catholic  faith,  and  three,  besides 
Round  Wind  who  was  pardoned,  into  the  Pro- 
testant faith.  The  other  two  refused  baptism. 
The  good  priests  and  Dr.  Willamson  worked  hard 
and  faithfully.  The  three  half  breeds  were 
under  20  years  old  and  dressed  like  white 
men,  the  rest  wore  the  Indian  garb  and  were 
mostly  young  men,  though  a  few  were  old  and 
grey  haired.  The  White  boy  was  counted  among 
the  full  bloods  as  he  was  a  Sioux  in  speech,  dress 
and  habits,  having  been  so  brought  up  from 
babyhood,  and  though  his  features  were  Caucas- 
sian  no  one  then  suspected  his  real  origin. 

On  the  morning  of  the  26th,  they  sang  their 
death  song  in  Dakota,  Tazoo  leading,  which  was 
very  exciting.  At  7:30  A.  M.,  all  persons  were 
excluded,  except  those  needed  to  prepare  them 
for  execution.  Maj  Brown  and  Capt.  Redfield 
superintended  the  affair.  Their  irons  were 
Imocked  ofE  and  thedr  arms  pinioned,  elbows 
behind  and  wrists  in  front  about  six  inches  apart. 
I'his  took  until  9  o'clock.  They  went  around 
sliaking  hands  with  the  soldiers  and  bidding 
them  good  bye.  They  were  then  put  in  a  row 
around  the  room  standing  and  chanting  in  the 
mean  time  one  of  their  wild,  mournful  melo- 
dies. They  were  then  permitted  to  sit  with 
their  backs  to  the  wall  a  few  minutes  while 
Father  Ravaux  came  in  and  read  them  a  prayer 
in  Dakotah.  He  then  spoke  to  them,  Baptiste 
Campbell  acting  as  interpreter.  The  earnest 
words  of  the  priest  affected  them  to  tears.  Dr. 
Williamson,  also,  had  a  short  heart  to  heart  talk 


with  them.  Caps  made  from  some  unbleached 
muslin,  found  in  their  possession  when  captured, 
were  now  put  on  their  heads,  but  drawn  down 
only  to  the  forehead.  While  Father  Ravaux  was 
still  talking  to  them  Capt.  Redfield  entered  the 
prison  chamber  and  whispered  to  him  that  all 
was  ready.  He  communicated  the  fact  to  Henry 
Millord,  one  of  the  halfbreeds,  and  he  repeated 
it  to  the  others.  Instantly  all  were  on  their 
feet  and  forming  in  single  file,  they  marched 
quickly  through  the  intervening  room  to  the 
front  door,  headed  Isy  Capt.  Redfield.  Thence 
they  passed  between  two  rows  of  soldiers  directly 
across  the  street  to  the  gallows,  followed  by  the 
gTiards,  who  had  stacked  arms,  and  the  reporters. 

As  soon  as  they  caught  sight  of  the  gallows, 
they  began  singing  their  death  dirge,  keeping 
step  to  the  music.  Still  following  the  lead  of 
Capt.  Redfield,  they  ascended  the  steps  to  the 
platform  of  the  gallows  and  were  ranged  in  their 
places  by  eight  soldiers,  two  for  each  section  of 
the  gallows.  After  adjusting  the  nooses  and  pull- 
ing down  the  muslin  caps,  or  sacks,  over  their 
faces,  the  soldiers  walked  down  from  the  plat- 
form. In  the  meantime  the  Indians  kept  up  con- 
tinuously their  singing  and  dancing  and  some 
managed  to  clasp  each  other's  hands.  Their  chant 
mainly  consisted  of  the  simple  repetition  in  Da- 
kotah of  "This  is  me."  It  was  a  wild,  gruesome, 
.impressive  scene.  Thirty  human  beings,  all  but 
three  dressed  in  Indian  costumes,  ranged  round 
the  four  squares  of  the  gallows  on  an  elevated 
platform,  with  ropes  round  their  necks,  dancing 
and  chanting  a  wierd,  fantastic   dirge. 

At  the  foot  of  the  center  post  stood  Capt. 
Duly  with  a  sharp  ax,  ready  to  cut  the  rope, 
which  held  the  ring  from  which  the  platform 
hung.  The  Captain's  wife  and  children  had  been 
butchered  by  the  savages  at  Lake  Shetec,  and 
he  had  asked  the  privilege  of  this  important  duty 
on  the  execution  program.  David  J.  Davis  of 
Cambria,  whose  son  had  been  killed,  offered 
Capt.  Duly  $5»00  if  he  would  resign  the  position 
in  his  favor,  but  he  refused. 

Facing  the  four  sides  of  the  gallows  in  battle 
fcrray  were  the  military.  Two  companies  of  the 
9th  Reg.,  161  men,  occupied  the  side  toward  the 
river,  and  three  companies  of  the  6th  Heg.,  300 
men,  the  side  toward  Front  street,  both  in  com- 


134 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


mand  of  Col.  Wilkin.  On  the  North  were  425 
men  of  the  10th  Reg.  tinder  Col.  J.  H.  Baker, 
while  on  the  south  side  were  425  men  of  the 
7th  Eeg.  in  command  of  Lieut.  Col.  Marshall. 
Back  of  the  infantry  to  the  north  and  south  were 
drawn  up  three  companies  of  the  1st  Eeg.,  moun- 
ted Eangers,  (273  men)  in  command  of  Maj. 
Buell,  while  Capt.  White's  mounted  men  (35 
in  number)  performed  patrol  duty.  In  all  1419 
soldiers  were  on  the  ground.  For  a  portion  of 
the  time  one  company  of  the  7th  and  one  com- 
pany of  the  lOth  were  detailed  under  Lieut. 
Col.  Jennison  to  guard  the  prison  yard.  Be- 
yond the  military  wefs  the  populace,  a  great 
and  motly  throng  of  men,  women  and  children, 
who  had  gathered  into  Mankato  from  a  radius 
of  fifty  miles  in  their  lumber  wagons  drawn  by 
oxen.  Many  had  been  on  the  road  all  night.  The 
weather  was  remarkably  fine.  There  was  scarcely 
any  snow  and  the  day  was  so  warm  that  people 
went  about  in  their  shirt  sleeves.  In'  those  days 
the  bed  of  the  Minnesota  river  was  situated 
about  where  the  western  two-thirds  of  the  Saul- 
paugh  Hotel  now  stands,  and  the  scafEold  stood 
so  near  its  bank  that  there  was  hardly  room 
for  one  line  of  soldiers.  As  the  river  was 
low  there  was  a  long  sand  bank  in  front  of  the 
levee.  This  was  covered  with  spectators,  and  so 
was  the  opposite  bank  of  the  river,  which  then 
was  no  further  than  the  east  end  of  the  present 
bridge. 

An  artist  from  St.  Paul  attempted  to  make  a 
photograph  of  the  scene  from  an  outside  stairway, 
which  led  to  the  second  story  of  John  J.  Shau- 
but's  store,  on  the  northwest  corner  of  Block 
.14,  but  the  cameras  of  that  day  were  not  well 
adapted  for  outside  exposures,  and  the  picture 
was  very  indistinct  and  blurred  and  none  of 
them  can  now  be  found.  More  successful  was 
the  picture  made  by  a  special  artist  of  Prank 
Leslie's  magazine,  prepared  from  pencil  sketches 
drawn  on  the  spot.  As  he  could  only  draw  a 
few  of  the  main  features  of  the  "scene,  and  had 
to  fill  in  all  the  details  from  imagination,  the 
picture  is  far  from  being  accurate  as  to  such  de- 
tails. The  late  John  C.  Wise  had  this  picture 
lithographed  in  colors  and  it  is  now  the  only 
pictorial  presentation  of  the  event.  Harper's 
weekly  had  a  special  artist  on  the  ground,  too, 


but  his  sketches  were  not  as  accurate  as  that 
of  the  Leslie  artist.  At  10 :16  A.  M.,  everything 
being  ready,  Capt.  Burt  waved  his  sword  as  a 
signal  to  Maj.  Brown,  who  gave  three  distinct 
taps  on  his  drurh.  At  the  last  tap  the  props, 
which  had  been  put  under  the  platform  as  a  pre- 
caution against  accident,  were  knocked  down  and 
Captain  Duly,  then  took  his  revenge.  Through 
nervousness  he  failed  on  the  first  stroke,  but 
a  second  blow  of  his  ax  severed  the  rope,  and  the 
platform  fell  with  a  crash.  The  doleful  sound 
of  the  death  dirge  suddenly  ceased  and  in  its 
stead  a  great  shout  of  exultation,  rose  from  the 
spectators.  This  shout  was  started  by  a  young 
soldier  lad,  whose  father,  mother,  brothers  and 
sisters  had  been  butchered  by  one  of  these  very 
Indians.  Pointing  his  finger  straight  at  the 
convulsing  body  of  this  Indian  he  gave  vent  to 
a  shout  of  triumph,  which  was  caught  up  by 
the  crowd.  Cut  Nose,  being  a  heavy  person, 
.snapped  his  rope  and  fell  partly  down  the  river 
bank,  but  his  neck  was  broken  and  he  was  dead 
when  picked  up,  still  the  soldiers  ran  him  up 
with  a  new  rope.  In  twenty  minutes  the  doctors 
pronounced  all  dead,  and  the  four  teams  de- 
tailed for  the  purpose,  drove  to  the  scafEold, 
and  the  bodies  were  cut  down  and  conveyed  to 
their  burial.  A  long  wide  trench  had  been  dug 
in  the  gravel  bed  at  the  upper  end  of  the 
levee  between  Front  street  and  the  river.  Here 
they  were  interred  by  Capt.  Burke's  company, 
who  acted  as  a  burial  party.  The  interment, 
however,  proved  of  little  value  as  the  bodies 
were  all  exhumed  that  night  and  carried  oil  for 
dissection  by  various  doctors  of  Southern  Minne- 
sota. The  execution  passed  off  without  the  least 
disturbance.  Though  the  feeling  against  the  other 
condemned  Indians  was  most  intense,  the  vast 
throng  behaved  vnth  perfect  order  and  decorum. 
On  December  20th,  1862,  six  days  before  the 
'.'.locution  of  the  Indians,  Chas.  B.  Hensley,  the 
talented  young  editor  of  the  "Mankato  Inde- 
pendent," died.  His  constitution  had  never  been 
robust.  Soon  after  the  Sioux  outbreak  he  Join- 
ed a  company  of  volunteers,  who  went  with  Gen- 
eral Sibley  against  the  hostile  bands.  The  hard- 
ships and  exposures  of  the  expedition  gave  him 
a  hard  cold,  and  he  returned  home  sick,  and 
quickly   grew  worse  until  the  end.     The  winter 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


135 


of  1863-3  was  open  and  very  mild,  which  prov- 
ed a  great  boon  to  the  settlers  and  their  stock 
ior  the  Indian  trouble  had  given  very  little  op- 
portunity to  prepare  for  winter. 

Among  the  condemned  Indians  were  many 
who  had  heard  the  teachings  of  the  christian  re- 
ligion for  some  years.  Two  of  their  number  were 
professed  Christians  and  members  of  Dr.  Wil- 
liamson's church.  Their  names  were  Robert 
Hopkins  Chaskay  and  Peter  Big  Tire.  Neither 
were  guilty  of  the  charge  of  murdering  the 
whites.  In  fact  Eobert  Hopkins  had  been  one 
of  the  most  active  wSh  John  Other  Day  in  res- 
cuing Dr.  Williamson  and  his  family  and  the 
other  white  settlers  at  the  Upper  Agency.  When 
it  was  found  that  he  was  among  the  303  con- 
demned to  be  hanged,  the  whites,  whom  he  had 
rescued  at  the  risk  of  his  own  life,  made  a  most 
vigorous  protest,  which  was  sent  to  President 
Lincoln,  and  Miss  Sarah  J.  Williamson  wrote  the 
president  a  personal  letter  in  his  behalf.  As  a 
result  he  was  promptly  pardoned.  But  he  and 
Peter  Big  Fire  had  started  a  work  among  theii- 
fellow  prisoners,  which  they  counted  more  im- 
portant than  their  liberty.  Under  their  lead 
a  wonderful  spiritual  revival  was  started  among 
the  convicts.  In  their  defeat  by  the  whites  the 
Indians  seemed  to  regard  their  Gods  as  also 
defeated,  and  all  their  old  superstition  ov^j 
thrown.  Their  pride  was  broken  and  their  con- 
fidence in  themselves  gone.  The  white  man's 
civilization  appealed  to  them  as  something  worth 
having.  It  made  him  so  superior  to  the  Indian  in 
power  and  in  wealth.  The  God  who  gave  him 
such  mysterious  advantages  over  the  red  man 
must  be  the  great  God,  and  they  would  worship 
him,  too,  and  become  like'  the  white  man.  They 
became  anxious  to  hear  about  the  Christ  religion. 
On  the  Sunday  after  the  execution  Eev.  Riggs 
preached  to  the  prisoners  in  the  prison  yard. 
Three  hundred  dusky  warriors,  heavily  laden  with 
chains,  standing  in  that  open  court,  in  the 
freshly  fallen  snow,  listening  intently  to  the 
preachers'  words,  is  a  picture  worthy  of  a 
great  artist.  Dr.  Williamson  walked  from  his 
home  in  St.  Peter  once  or  twice  a  week  all  winter 
to  preach  to  them.  The  Pond  brothers,  Samuel 
W.  and  Gideon  H.,  came  up  from  Shakopee  to 
speak  to  them  a  few  times.  Eev.  Hicks,  the  Pres- 


byterian minister  at  Mankato,  addressed  them 
two  or  tlii-ee  times.  Through  the  work  of  these 
good  missionaries  and  especially  through  the  ef- 
foi-ts  of  Eobert  Hopkins  and  Peter  Big  Fire, 
the  revival  continued  to  grow,  until  in  February 
it  culminated  in  a  regular  Pentecostal  time, 
and  Dr.  Williamson,  Rev.  G.  H.  Pond  and  Eev. 
Hicks  baptised  and  received  into  church  mem- 
biTship  nearly  three  hundred  of  them  in  one 
day. 

This  Feb.  3,  1863,  was  a  day  long  to  be  re- 
membered in  the  annals  of  the  Dakotas,  as  the 
day  when  they  renounced  savagery  and  enlisted 
under  the  banner  of  the  cross.  A  most  solemn 
and  impressive  service  it  was  when  each  dusky 
warrior  arose  in  response  to  his  name,  and  ad- 
vancing, confessed  his  sin,  swore  allegiance  to 
the  King  of  Heaven  and  with  uplifted  hand 
and  bowed  head  received  the  ordinance  of  Bap- 
tism. As  the  ministering  missionary  was  famil- 
iar with  the  past  life  of  each  candidate,  he 
could  give  each  a  charge  suited  to  his  needs. 
Instead  of  idle  story  telling,  gambling  and 
heathen  dances,  these  wild  men  of  the  plains 
spent  the  whole  winter  in  listening  to  the  word 
of  God,  in  confessing  sin,  in  prayer  and  exhor- 
tation and  in  singing  hymns.  Mankato  is  noted 
in  Sioux  history  not  so  much  as  the  place  of 
hanging  as  the  place  of  the  new  life,  where  a 
nation  was  born  anew  in  a  day. 

That  their  conversion  was  genuine,  their  after 
lives  fully  attest.  Among  them  was  Eev.  Arte- 
iiias  Ehnameni,  for  many  years  the  able  and  de- 
voted pastor  of  the  Santee  Church.  Among  them 
also  was  the  father  of  Dr.  Charles  H.  Eastman, 
the  noted  author  and  preacher,  who  after  his 
release  went  in  quest  of  his  son  to  the  wilds  of 
western  Canada  and  sent  him  to  college.  The 
many  Christian  homes  they  founded,  the  churches 
they  established  and  the  consecrated  lives  they 
led  all  testify  to  the  magnitude  and  thoroughness 
of  the  Spirit's  work  at  the  Mankato  prison. 
Their  log  Jail  was  transformed  into  a  school 
room,  and  books  were  in  great  demand.  Before 
spring  most  of  these  condemned  men  had  learned 
to  read  and  write.  The  revival  spread  to  the 
camp  at  Ft.  Snelling  and  many  were  there 
converted.  This  wonderful  spiritual  awakening 
in  the  Mankato  prison  is  unique  in  Indian  his- 


136 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


tory.  It  originated  largely  among  themselves. 
It  affected  nearly  every  one  of  the  three  hundred 
prisoners,  and  the  sudden  and  marvelous  trans- 
lormation  it  worked  in  the  thought  and  lives 
of  these  savages  v^as  in  their  picturesque  lan- 
guage "a  great  mystery/'  indeed. 

The  people  generally,  even  at  Mankato,  were 
not  aware  of  the  tremendous  change,  which  had 
taken  place  in  the  hearts  of  the  captives,  and 
so  great  was  the  prejudice  against  any  Indian, 
that  all  their  manifestations  of  conversion  were 
looked  upon  as  hypocrisy. 

To  show  how  we  of  the  Caucasiaii  race,  with 
all  our  boasted  civilization,  are  not  far  re- 
moved from  barbarism,  with  its  thirst  for  blood, 
and  revenge,  when  some  great  provocation  comes 
to  test  us,  one  has  but  to  notice  the  uncharitable 
conduct  of  many  of  our  best  people  toward  the 
Indian  in  those  days.  Too  often  the  spirit 
of  revenge  drove  out  the  spirit  of  Christ.  The 
liouse  of  Eepresentatives  of  the  State  of  Minne- 
sota, in  January,  1863,  passed,  with  only  one  dis- 
senting vote,  a  resolution  requesting  President 
Ijincoln  to  hang  all  the  balance  of  the  con- 
demned Indians  at  once,  but  the  resolution  hap- 
pily failed  of  final  passage.  Then  so  sane  a  man 
as  Col.  Pratt  of  St.  Peter,  because  the  good  peo- 
ple of  Boston  and  Philadelphia  had  dared  to 
protest  against  the  hanging  of  all  the  Indiajis, 
had  a  petition  signed  by  3,000  persons  asking 
congress  to  locate  the  Sioux  upon  Boston  Com- 
mon and  the  Winnebagoes  in  the  parks  of  Phila- 
delphia, and  sent  the  same  to  Congress.  Mr.  Wisa 
of  the  "Eecord,"  much  to  his  credit,  denounced 
the  foolish  act  roundly  and  other  editors  of  the 
State  did  the  same.  Men  who  knew  the  Indian 
character  best,  and  whose  Christian  sympathies 
were  broad,  like  Dr.  Williamson,  Eev.  Eiggs, 
Father  Eavaux  and  Bishop  Whipple,  were  ready 
to  see  the  good  there  was  in  the  Indian  and  give 
him  credit  for  it. 


The  Indians  were  kept  in  chains,  until  their 
limbs  were  badly  chafed.  Eev.  Eiggs  was  able  to 
get  the  chains  removed  for  a  short  time  to  let 
their  sores  heal,  but  such  were  the  fears  of  the 
people,  that  the  military  were  obliged  soon  to 
restore  them.  To  men  always  used  to  the  free- 
dom of  the  open  air,  the ,  constant  close  con- 
finement of  so  many  of  them  in  such  a  small 
pen  began  to  tell  on  their  health.  During  the 
last  part  of  the  winter  thirteen  of  them  died.  On 
x\pril  22nd,  1863,  they  left  Mankato  on  the 
steamboat  Favorite  and  were  taken  to  Davenport, 
Iowa.  There  were  in  the  party  270  condemned 
Indians,  forty-eight  uneondenmed  and  fifteen,  to 
twenty  squaws.  As  they  were  passing  Ft.  Snel- 
ling,  where  their  wives  and  children  and  com- 
rades were  confined,  they  sang  in  their  native 
tongue  one  of  their  favorite  hymns  to  the  tune  of 
"Old  Hundred": 

"Jehovah,    have    mercy    upon    me 
For    thy    own    mercy    sake, 
Thy   loving  kindness   is   very   great 
Therefore  place  me  in  thy  heart,"  etc. 

Their  departure  from  Mankato  was  the  last 
seen  of  the  great  Sioux  nation  in  any  numbers  in 
Blue  Earth  county.  A  few  of  the  hostiles  made 
two  or  three  raids  thereto,  but  the  land  that 
heretofore  had  known  them  as  a  nation,  time  im- 
memorial, henceforth  knew  them  no  more,  nor 
did  hardly  one  of  them  see  its  face  again  for- 
ever. 

At  Davenport  they  were  confined  in  a  military 
prison  until  the  spring  of  1866,  when  their  sen- 
tences were  all  revoked.  But  in  the  meantime 
about  one  third  of  them  had  died  because  of  their 
confinement.  The  remnant  were  talten  to  the  new 
Sioux  Agency  in  a  barren  district  of  Nebraska. 
Most  of  them  however,  renounced  Agency  life 
and  government  annuities  and  took  claims  in 
South  Dakota,  and  adopted  the  ways  of  white 
men,  and  there  many  of  their  descendants  still 
live  on  farms  leading  worthy   Christian  lives. 


CHAPTER  XV. 

LEGISLATIVE    AID     FOE     SETTLEES- 
EVENTS  OP  1863  AND  1864. 


Immediately  after  the  great  massacre  the  gov-  of  the  districts  held  their  elections,  but  some  neg- 

crnor   convened   the    State    Legislature    in    extra  lected  so  to  do. 

f^ession.  On  September  26th,  1862,  a  bill  was  The  roster  of  the  Shelby  company  has  been 
passed  appropriating  $25,000.00  for  the  relief  preserved.  The  captain  received  his  commission 
of  the  refugees,  hundreds  of  whom  were  widows  on  Febr.  7th,  1863,  but  the  company  was  not 
and  orphans,  and  others,  who  had  lost  their  mustered  in  until  the  forenoon  of  June  8th, 
all,  were  also,  wholly  destitute.  On  the  29th  1863,  when  a  big  dinner  was  served  in  the  door 
of  September  1862,  a  Militia  Act  was  passed  by  yard  of  Nathaniel  Stevens  to  all  the  members, 
the  same  Legislature,  which  required  every  able  According  to  the  roster  there  were  seven  lumber- 
bodied  male  between  the  ages  of  18  years  and  men,  one  artist,  one  mechanic  and  forty-three 
45  years,  with  certain  necessary  exceptions,  to  farmers  in  the  company.  The  muster  roll  with 
be  listed  in  military  companies  for  the  defence  age  and  rank  was  as  follows : 
of  the  frontier.     These  lists  were  to  be  filed  with  ^S<^ 

.,       ~        ,       jT,  -,    ■,  1,1        -I    ,         Phineas     Lattin,     Captain 32 

the  County  Auditors,  and  it  was  made  the  duty     xilton  0.  Allen,  First  Lieutenant 29 

of  the   County   Commissioners   to    divide   their   re-      Albert    M.    Stevens^    Second    Lieutenant 32 

..  J.  .    ,  ....  T    ■   ■  John   T.    Shank,    First   iScrgeant 39 

spective     counties     into     military     divisions,     con-       Enoch    Marsh,    Second    Sergeant 28 

forming  as   near   as   possible   to   township   lines,     i-i<-orge  Boler,  Third  Sergeant 33 

•L     T    •  .  ,       J.  T     J         1     i_      Robert    Shannon,    Fourth    Sergeant 43 

each    division    to    form    a    company    and    to    elect      j^mes    Lattimer,    First    Corporal 37 

by    ballot     its     captain,     lieutenants     and     subor-       Jfsse    Thomas,    Second    Corporal 33 

T      ,         ™.  ,,  .  „.  ,       ,  Jesse    JLack,    Third    Corporal 28 

dmate    officers,    all     superior     officers     to     be    ap-       ^ath.    Stevens,    Fourth    Corporal 39 

pointed  by  the  governor.  In  accordance  with  this     ^-   M.   Nash,   Fifth   Corjioral 34 

1,1  T7,     ,,       ^         ,  -r  -.o^o        H.    A.    Tiffanv,    Sixth    Corporal 25 

inue     Earth      County     was      on      January,      1863,       Wm.    Butterfield,    Seventh    Corpora! 35 

divided  by  its  county  board  into  twelve  military     John   Bare,    Eighth    Corporal 33 

districts  numbered  as  follows:  Privates: 

Age 

No.  1.     Mankato.  Andrews,    O     A 23 

-.J  Andrews,    Warren     31 

JNO.  2.      South    Bend.  Affolter,    Rudolph     43 

No.  3.      Judson.  Arlidge,    Alexander 26 

■,-,  ^       -r>  Austin    Patrick     — 

JN  0.         4.     Butternut  Valley.  Bagley,    Alvah    W 24 

No.        5.     Watonwan  and  Pox'  Lake.  c^'^'^'^^Pd  "  ™'    ^ ^ 

No.  _      6.     Vernon    and    Ceresco.  Buckmister,    George'   ..............................  2^ 

No.  7.      Shelby    and    Otsego.  Baumgardner,    John     38 

HT  n       „.     ,.  ^  Case,     E.     L 46 

JNo.  8.      sterling.  Case,    Henry    R 36 

No.  9.      Mapleton.  Chapman,     Darius     N 40 

vr„  in        -r.  -11  Childs,    B.     P — 

JNo.        10.      Danville  Ci-andall,    Arthur    20 

No.      11.     Le  Eay  and  Jamestown.  Crandall,    Wm 31 

•vTn        io      T-  Cooper,     Geo.    W 24 

JNo.        12.     Lime.  Darling,   L   J 30 

Darling,    J.    A — 

January  28th,  1863,  was  designated  as  the  day     Day,    Pardon   B 44 

for  each  district  to  meet  and  elect  officers.  Most     Dimo'nd,  °  John 35 

137 


133                                        HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 

Age  In    March,    dictrict    No.    9    (Mapleton)    was 

Farley,  ^en^am'in' ''['.[[['.'.['. '^V^y^V^'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.  ^  divided  in  tlie  center,  the  east  half  attached  to 

Gere,  'nsIsoii    43  Danville,    and    the    west   half    to    Sterling,    and 

H eSan^"  G^eorge  ■•.;■.•.:;;•.■.■.;;;::::;;::::::;::;;::  39  district  x\ o.  3  ( judson)  was  divided  and  the  west 

Hupt,   W.   H 34  half   attached  to  Butternut  Valley   and  the  east 

Khlnf'     "^iorlee '. '  ^   30  ^^^^    *"    8°^*^^^    ^^^^-       ^^    February    1862    Con- 
Marsh,' Geo.    W —  gress   passed    an    act    appropriating    $300,000   to 

Aiii^^^'  /"   ^ 43  indemnify   persons   damaged   by   the    Sioux   War 

Miller'    Tobias    32  and   appointed   Cyrus  Aldrich   of   Minnesota,  J. 

Purdy,  Daniel  18  j,_    p^^.^^^.    ^^    Wisconsin   and   A.    S.    White   of 

Purdy,     Solomon     ■^o 

Roberts,    Stephen    S 36  Indiana  as  commissioners  to  pass  on  the  claims. 

Eoss,    Milton    -  Q^    Pebruary    28,    1863,    the    County    Board 

Stevens,    Levi    —  •'          '                                         •" 

Taylor,   C.  L —  vacated  the  old  townsites  of  "Crystal  Lake  City," 

True"^' Benedior'^'^ ':'.'/".'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.  ^  "Mapleton ^    and   Watonwan    City."      March   14, 

Woodman,   Sylvester    43  1863,  a  new  mail  route  was  established  to  run 

Young,  G.  G —  horn   Mankato    by   way   of   Madelia    and   Sioux 

The  rosters  of  the  other  companies  are  lost.  Falls  to  Ft.  Randall  Dakota  Territory. 
A  list  of  the  officers  has  been  kept  in  a  few  About  January  1,  1863,  a  secert  society  called 
eases.  The  principal  ofEicers  were  for  instance  "Knights  of  the  Forest"  was  organized  at  a 
at  Vernon  Center:  Lucius  Terry,  Capt.,  Theodore  law  office  in  Block  14  of  Mankato.  Its  pur- 
Sowers,  1st  Lieut.,  F.  C.  Mickerson,  2nd  Lieut.;  pose  was  to  have  both  Sioux  and  Winnebago 
at  Sterling,  H.  Miller,  Captain;  at  South  Bend,  Indians  removed  from  Minnesota.  Sublodges 
Capt.,  B.  Y.  Coffin,  1st  Lieut.  D.  D.  Evans,  were  organized  at  Garden  City  and  Meridan 
2nd  Lieut.  Edward  Jones;,  at  Butternut  Valley,  and  perhaps  elsewhere.  Through  the  work  of 
Captain,  Jenkins  Williams,  1st  Lieut.  David  J.  this  society  and  the  persistant  clamor  of  the 
Williams,  2nd  Lieut.  David  J.  Davis,  Jr.  at  Man-  people  all  over  the  state,  congress  was  finally 
krtto  there  were  two  companies,  one  composed  induced  during  February  and  March  1863,  to 
wholly  of  Germans  of  which  Wm.  Bierbauer  was  at  pass  acts  for  the  removal  of  both  tribes  from 
first  Captain,  but  in  June,  when  Mr.  Bierbauer  was  Minnesota  to  Nebraska  and  South  Dakota.  We 
promoted  to  be  major  of  the  Regiment,  J.  C.  have  already  detailed  the  circumstances  of  the 
Haupt  became  captain,  Phillip  Hodapp,  1st  departure  of  the  Sioux.  A  number  of  the 
Lieut,  and  J.  Wm.  Hoerr  2nd  Lieutenant.  The  friendly  Sioux,  though,  were  permitted  to  locate 
officers  of  the  other  Mankato  company  were:  upon  claims  in  the  vicinity  of  the  present  vill- 
Captain,  J.  W.  Batchelder,  1st  Lieut.  B.  F.  age  of  Morton.  On  April  25,  1863,  two  days 
Hotaling,  2nd  Lieutenant  Daniel  Haire.  The  after  the  departure  of  the  Sioux,  the  Winne- 
Danville  and  east  Mapleton  company  did  not  bagoes  were  officially  notified  by  their  agent, 
elect  officers  until  the  fall,  when  Nelson  Gray  in  a  council  convened  for  the  purpose,  of  the 
was  made   captain.  decision  of  the  government,  to  remove  them  to  a 

The   regiment   composed   of   the   various    com-  new  agency  west  of  the  Missouri.     These  Indians 

panics    in    Blue    Earth    County    was    designated  were  much  opposed  to  the  removal,   and  held  a 

20th    Regt.    Minnesota    State    Militia.      B.     F.  number  of  councils  to  discuss  the  matter  and  to 

Smith  was  appointed  Colonel,  and  Henry   Shau-  express   their    disapproval.      Baptiste   Lassallieur, 

but,  Lieut.   Colonel.  The  companies  were  drilled  their   head  chief,   said  he  had   seen  the  country 

every  few  days  and  there  were  one  or  two  drills  and  that  it  was   cold   and  barren,  without  tim- 

of   the    whole    regiment    at    Mankato.      In    Sep-  ber  and  not  fit  for  habitation.     They  blamed  old 

tember  of  this  year  D.  C.  Evans  of  South  Bend  Chief   Winneshiek    for    his   persistant   opposition 

was   commissioned  Brigadier   General   of  Militia,  to    the    recent    treaty,  •  which    gave    them   eighty 

Between    the    regular    soldiers    and    the    militia  acres   of   land   in   severalty.      On   May   3,  about 

companies  the  county  presented  for  two  or  three  forty   of   them  attended   by   one   Marcus  Moore 

years  a  very  military  appearance.^  went    to    Wilton,    where    Judge    Donaldson  was 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


139 


holding  a  term  of  court,  and  applied  for  Natur- 
alization papers,  with  intent  to  file  on  claims. 
The  judge  refused  their  application  and  the 
people  had  Moore  arrested.  Chief  Winneshiek 
with  200  to  300  followers  concluded  to  rebel, 
and  retiring  to  Lake  Elj'sian  defied  the  authori- 
ties. This  old  chief  was  a  strong  character 
and  the  leader  of  the  conservation  party  in  the 
tribe,  who  were  bitterly  opposed  to  every  inno- 
vation of  civilized  life,  unless  it  may  be  whiskey. 
He  always  went  clothed  in  Indian  garb  and 
generally  carried  an  old  spear  rather  than  a 
gun.  Because  of  his  opposition  to  everything 
pertaining  to  civilization  he  had  been  deposed 
from  the  head  chieftainship. 

The  dishonesty  of  the  whites,  both  in  the 
distribution  of  government  annuities  and  in 
sale  of  goods  by  traders,  had  much  to  do  with 
fostering  this  ugly  feeling  among  the  Indians. 
It  seems  that  in  the  distribution  of  the  last 
goods  sent  by  the  government  to  this  county  for 
•the  Winnebagoes,  1,420  blankets  had  been  sent, 
but  only  500  were  delivered  to  the  Indians; 
1150  yards  of  blue  cloth  sent,  only  275  yards 
delivered;  990  yards  of  gray  cloth  sent,  only 
330  yards  delivered;  2756  yards  of  plaid  linsey 
sent,  none  delivered;  28601^  yards  of  cloth 
sent,  none  delivered;  foiir  dozen  plaid  wool 
shawls  sent,  none  delivered;  three  dozen  extra 
blanket  shawls  sent,  none  delivered.  The  goods 
not  delivered  were  estimated  as  worth  $10,000. 
A  citizen  of  Mankato  told  the  writer  of  finding 
a  line  bolt  of  blue  cloth  above  mentioned  in  an 
attic  or  shed  and  running  a  knife  through  it, 
so  the  thief  might  not  profit  by  his  theft.  The 
authorities  were  not  the  only  ones  to  blame, 
but  many  of  the  employees  and  others  thought 
it  no  sin  to  steal  from  Indians.  This  is  but 
a  sample  of  what  was  being  done  at  every  Agency 
and  at  most  every  payment. 

Justus  C.  Eamsey,  brother  of  governor  Eam- 
sey,  was  appointed  by  the  government  as  agent 
for  the  removal  of  the  Winnebagoes.  A  camp 
was  formed  to  receive  them  on  the  river  bank, 
just  back  of  the  Hubbard  Mill  in  Mankato, 
which  was  designated  "Camp  Porter,"  in  honor 
of  John  J.  Porter,  who  had  been  most  active 
m  their  removal.  The  first  installment  of  these 
Indians  arrived  on' May  5,  and  numbered  about 
100. 


The  next  day  (ila}-  6)  the  'Winnebagoes  under 
Chief  Winneshiek,  killed  two  tSioux  spies,  who 
had  come  to  visit  them  at  Lake  Elysian,  and 
mutilated  their  bodies  in  a  shocking  manner. 
Another  Sioux,  who  had  married  a  A\'innebago 
squaw  and  had  lived  with  the  tribe  all  winter, 
left  them  saying  he  was  going  to  tell  the  Sioux. 
They  followed  him  to  the  Agency  and  Idlled 
him,  also,  and  dismembered  his  body  in  a  most 
horrible  manner.  They  cut  out  his  tongue  and 
hung  it  on  a  pole,  because  he  had  said  he  would 
tell  the  Sioux.  Another  took  his  scalp  and 
stretched  it  on  a  hoop  attached  to  a  pole, 
another  took  his  head,  another  an  arm.  etc.  The 
chief  Little  Priest  cut  off  his  finger  nails  with 
strips  of  skin  attached  and  tied  them  about  his 
ov/n  wrists.  A  party  of  about  twenty  young  bucks 
decked  in  paint  and  feathers,  with  virreaths  of 
weeds  and  grass  on  their  heads,  brought  the 
two  Sioux  scalps  and  the  tongue,  adorned  with 
gay  ribbons  and  fastened  on  poles,  to  JIankato 
with  them  and  paraded  along  main  and  Front 
streets  yelling  and  hooting  to  the  accompani- 
ment of  half  a  dozen  Indian  drums.  This  was 
done  to  curry  favor  with  the  M'hites  and  make 
them  think  they  were  the  enemies  of  the  Sioux. 

By  May  9  the  number  of  the  Winnebagoes 
at  Camp  Porter  had  increased  to  over  800.  On 
this  date  a  company  of  soldiers  were  sent  after 
chief  Winneshiek  and  his  party.  On  this  date, 
also,  the  first  detachment  of  the  Indians  took 
their  departure  from  Mankato;  405  embark- 
ing on  the  steamer  Pomeroy  and  355  on  the 
Eolian.  On  the  first  boat  the  war  party  with 
the  two  Sioux  scalps  embarked.  They  sat  in 
a  circle  on  the  upper  deck  with  the  two  scalps 
hung  on  poles  in  the  center,  pounding  on  their 
tomtoms  and  chanting  a  wild  war  song,  their 
half  naked  bodies  besmeared  with  mud  and 
paint  and  their  long  unkempt  hair  full  of  grease 
and  long  feathers,  a  very  picture  of  savagery, 
and  thus  they  passed  down  the  river.  A  great 
contrast  were  they  to  the  conduct  of  the  con- 
Terted  Sioux. 

On  May  10,  1863,  338  more  Winnebagoes 
departed  on  the  Pomeroy,  and  on  the  14  of  May 
about  three  hundred  of  Winneshiek's  band  left 
on  the  same  boat.  The  balance  of  the  tribe 
left  in  wagons  on  May  17  for  St.  Peter,  where 
they  took  a  boat.     At  Mankato  there  was  much 


140 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


rejoicing  over  their  departure;  cannons  were 
fired  and  flags  raised. 

Thus  the  last  Indian  left  Blue  Earth  county 
and  a  new  era  dawned  upon  its  history.  Here- 
tofore with  six-  townships  and  a  half  of  its 
Tery  best  territory  in  the  hands  of  the  Indians 
the  county's  growth  had  been  seriously  stunted, 
but  now  that  this  great  hampering  stone  of 
savagery  was  removed  its  progress  and  prosperity 
were  assured.  Settlers  began  rushing  into  this 
rich  vacant  land  at  once,  even  before  the  govern- 
ment had  time  to  bring  it  to  market. 

During  the  fall  and  winter  of  1862-3  ^  com- 
panies of  soldiers  were  stationed  over  the  county. 
At  Mankato  a  number  of  companies  were  main- 
tained, because  of  the  Sioux  prisoners.  At  South 
Bend  one  or  two  companies  were  kept.  At 
Tivoli  Company  B  of  the  7th  Minn.,  Capt.  Cur- 
tis was  stationed  as  protection  against  the  Win- 
nebagoes.  At  Judson  village  was  Captain  Dane's 
company  (E  of  the  9th).  At  Garden  City  a 
company  of  the  10th,  at  Vernon  another  com- 
pany of  the  10th,  and  at  Horeb  church,  in  the 
present  town  of  Cambria  a  portion  of  Company 
K  of  9th  Minn.  Early  in  April  company  B 
of  the  9th  was  sent  from  Judson  to  St.  Peter 
and  thence  to.  Hutchinson,  while  company  D 
of  the  9th  took  their  place  at  Judson.  This 
company  was  noted  for  its  skill  in  fort  building. 
At  Judson  they  constructed  a  very  vmique  sod 
fort  the  remains  of  which  may  still  be  seen  about 
eighty  rods  northeast  of  the  Railway  station, 
tiudge  Lorin  Cray  was  a  member  of  this  com- 
pany. About  midsummer  the  fort  was  aban- 
.  doned,  and  the  company  sent  to  Martin  County. 
Captain  Sullivan's  company,  also  constructed 
an  excellent  pallisade  fort*  at  Vernon. 

In  the  spring  of  1863  Gen.  Sibley  began 
concentrating  the  troops  at  Camp  Pope,  about 
twenty-five  miles  west  of  Ft.  Ridgely,  prepara- 
tory to  a  campaign  against  the  hostile  Sioux 
in  Dakota,  and  during  April  and  May  most  of 
the  soldiers  in  Blue  Earth  County  were  sent 
hither.  Mankato  was  made  the  base  of  military 
supplies  and  several  hundred  wagon  loads  of 
goods  were  brought  there  at  once  from  the  var- 
ious military  depots  in  the  valley.  The  summer 
was  spent  by  Gen.  Sibley  in  a  formidable  expedi- 
tion against  the  hostile  Sioux  through  Dakota  to 


tlie  Missouri  River.  Other  than  impressing  the 
Indian  with  the  thought  of  how  big  a  war  party 
the  paleface  could  get  up,  it  did  not  accomplish 
much. 

Marauding  bands  of  Indians  made  their 
appearance  throughout  the  settlements,  very 
early  in  the  spring.  On  April  16,  1863,  a  small 
Scandinavian  settlement  on  the  south  branch 
of  the  Watonwan,  twenty-one  miles  beyond  Made- 
lia,  was  raided  by  them,  and  Ole  Erickson,  a 
member  of  Co.  E,  ^th,  Minn.,  Christopher  Gil- 
brantson  (a  boy  twelve  years  old),  Gilbrand 
Palmer,  Gabriel  Erlingren  and  Ole  Palmerson 
were  killed;  and  Jas.  Small  of  Co.  E,  7th 
Minn.,  Mrs.  Torgeson,  Simeon  Roland,  wife 
and  a  child  were  wounded.  All  summer  long 
Indians  would  be  seen  every  other  day,  here 
and  there  along  the  frontier,  and  every  little 
while  some  settler  would  be  killed  or  his  horses 
stolen,  and  the  whole  country  was  kept  in  ,  a 
ferment  of  fear  and  excitement  continually, 
A  line  of  military  posts  were  maintained  along 
the  frontier  from  Ft.  Ridgely  to  the  Iowa  line, 
and  scouts  kept  daily  going  back  and  forth 
between  the  posts.  But  all  did  not  avail,  for 
the  skulking  savages  would  crawl  easily  through 
these  lini's,  hiding  in  the  brush  and  tall  grass. 
Every  day  or  two  some  one  saw,  or  thought  ho 
saw,  (which  was  just  as  good),  Indians  here 
and  there  in  Blue  Earth  County.  In  Lime 
town,  Jamestown,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Blue 
Earth,  in  LeEay,  in  Ceresco,  at  Vernon,  in 
Cambria,  South  Bend,  Shelby  and  elsewhere 
Indians  were  reported  during  the  summer  and 
the  militia  were  kept  busy.  So  unsettled  were 
matters  that  very  little  farming  was  done  in  the 
County. 

When  on  one  of  these  raids  Little  Crow  was 
shot  and  killed  on  July  3,  1863,  near  HuiJiin- 
son,  but  this  did  not  effect  the  raids,  for  the 
Indians  are  not  dependent  upon  chiefs.  It  wa? 
a  squad  of  Blue  Earth  County  boys  belonging 
to  Co.  E,  9th  Minn.,  stationed  at  Hutchinson, 
who  went  after  the  body  of  Little  Crow. 

About  the  middle  of  June  1863  E.  P.  Evans 
of  Garden  City,  C.  A.  Warner  of  Chaska  anS 
jMr.  Thomas  of  Washington  were  appointed 
appraisers  of  the  Winnebago  lands.  By  the  fw- 
visions    of    Law,    179    of    the    334    sections  in 


I'VPTiST  Mission  Chorck 
MftNKAVortuP. 


CHOKCH-UeCORiO 


0(f6  TMd  T@g«)(J^i^O[?)a  ^  6^^(s^&^(aT©s«^[6)(l(S@(^B^ 


a>l5T  N253 'THe«0FFmflNfiC«O0l.-«fl«KiPTOtV»R^ 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


141 


ir  county  were  to  be  sold  on  bids,  leaving- 
fty-five  sections  for  preemption.  The  em-.- 
rants  continued  to  pour  into  the  hmd  froiu 
II  sides.  Some  had  houses  ready  built  on 
leir  wagons,  which  they  occupied,  while  Ijreak- 
ig  the  land.  The  houses,  which  had  been  left 
t  the  Agency,  were  all  quickly  taken  possession 
f,  as  were,  also,  the  log  cabins,  which  had  been 
acated  by  the  chiefs  and  halfbreeds. 
The  settlers  of  Medo,  at  a  picnic  held  in  a 
rove  on  the  banks  of  the  Little  Cobb,  on  July. 
,  1863,  began  to  take  steps  to  organize  a 
3wn.  It  was  decided  at  first  to  call  the  town 
Oak  Grove,"  but  it  was  discovered  that  there 
fas  a  town  of  that  name  already  in  the  State. 
)n  August  21,  this  name  was  changed  to  "Cam- 
ridge."  Again  it  was  discovered  that  this 
lame,  also,  had  been  appropriated,  and  hence, 
fhen  on  Sept.  2,  1863,  the  County  Commis- 
ioners  came  to  formally  organize  the  town,  its 
Id  Indian  name  of  "Medo"  (small  potatoes) 
ras  again  adopted.  On  the  same  date  the  old 
own  of  Eice  Lake  was  organized  imder  the 
[ame  of  MeClellan  (after  Gen.  i^IcClellan). 
The  first  election  in  Medo  was  held  Sept.  19, 
,863,  at  the  cabin  of  Hiram  Stratton,  when  the 
ollowing  persons  were  chosen  its  first  super- 
isors:  A.  W.  Barron,  Chairman,  S.  B.  Stebbins 
nd  A.  Bagley  with  Hiram  Stratton  as  Clerk, 
^he  first  election  for  the  town  of  MeClellan  was 
leld  on  the  same  date  at  the  residence  of  Lucius 
)yer,  when  the  following  persons  -n-ere  elected : 
Supervisors,  Asa  White,  J.  Y.  Colwell  and 
jucius  Dyer;  Clerk,  Henry  Foster;  Treasurer, 
I.  0.  Bartlett;  Assessor,  Chas.  Manaige;  Jus- 
ices  J.  L.  Alexander  and  J.  W.  Colwell,  Con- 
tables  Aaron  Foyles  and  Alexander  Payer.  At 
he  same  time  the  two  towns  were  made  the 
3th  Militia  District  and  each  a  separate  school 
listrict.  At  the  general  election  held  ?s^ovember  3, 
'ledo  cast  10  votes,  8  Eepublican  and  two  Demo- 
ratic;  and  ^MeClellan  28  votes,  15  Democratic 
nd  13  Eepublican.  The  total  vote  of  the 
ounty  was  1,139.  Our  County  went  Eepublican 
y  about  250  majority,  but  the  great  fight  was 
n  the  Legislative  candidates.  Blue  Earth  and 
je  Sueur  Counties  being  then  united  as  one 
•legislative  District.  The  Democrats  won,  J.  J. 
'orter  defeating   B.   Y.    Coffin   for   the   senate, 


and  Jas.  A.  Wiswell  and  colleagues  being  chosen 
Eepresentatives. 

The  Commissioners  appointed  by  the  govern- 
ment to  pass  on  the  claims  for  damages  by 
reason  of  the  Sioux  massacre  met  at  ilankato 
from  the  16th  to  the  24tli  of  July,  186:5.  In 
all  2940  claims  were  filed,  amounting  to  $2,600,- 
000  and  of  these  $1,3:)0,000  were  allowed.  As 
the  appropriation  was  only  $200,000,  and  all 
expenses  had  to  be  paid  out  of  this,  including 
a  salary  of  $2500  to  each  Commissioner,  and 
the  friendly  Indians  had  to  be  given  quite  a 
slice  from  it,  the  percentage  paid  to  the  claim- 
ants was  quite  small,  and  from  fifteen  to 
twenty-five  per  cent  of  this  had  to  be  paid  to 
attorneys  for  collecting  it.  The  great  bulk  of 
tiie  settlers  who  were  real  sufferers,  i-eceivcd  but 
small  compensation  for  their  losses.  Some  few 
doubtless,  whose  claims  were  overstrong,  may 
have  gotten  more  than  they  desen-ed,  but  not 
so  with  the  great  majority.  For  while  the  meek 
may  inherit  the  earth,  they  are  not  always  so 
sure  of  getting  their  share  of  government  boun- 
ties   of    political    preferments. 

Fourth  of  July  celebrations  were  held  this 
year  at  Shelbyville,  Crystal  Lake  and  elsewhere. 
The  Shelbyville  one  was  most  prominent  with 
Judge  ^Yilcox,  J.  S.  Bachckler,  Eev.  J.  C.  Con- 
rad  and   Eev.   Eichardson   as  speech   makers. 

An  open  winter  and  dry  summer  were  not 
favorable  to  a  good  stage  of  water  in  the  river, 
and  navigation  was  not  as  good  as  the  year 
before.  The  Jcnnette  Eoberts  was  the  first 
boat  on  April  3,  and  she  was  met  at  the  Man- 
kato  levee  by  over  1,000  soldiers  anrl  citizens, 
who  gvivc  her  a  royal  welcome,  their  cheers  ei'ho- 
ing  far  among  the  hills.  The  main  traffic  was 
the  transportation  of  troops  and  military  sup- 
plies. Over  60,000  bushels  of  wheat  were  car- 
ried from  Mankato  alone.  The  Flora  was  a 
new  boat  in  the  trade  this  year. 

Since  the  death  of  ~SIt.  Hensley  in  December, 
1S62,  the  Independent  had  been  without  an 
editor.  ^Ir.  Gunning  was  a  good  printer,  but 
not  adapted  for  editorial  work.  John  IST.  Hall, 
who  was  then  a  very  prominent  and  active 
leader  in  the  Eepublican  party,  did  most  of  the 
work.  In  July,  1863  the  paper  was  sold  to 
Chas.    H.    Slocum,    who    changed    its    name    to 


142 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


"The  Union"  and  published  his  first  issue  under 
date  of  July   17,   1863. 

The  last  of  May  of  this  same  year  Mr.  Wise 
of  the  "Record"  purchased  of  the  Baptist  So- 
ciety a  frame  building  they  had  been  using 
as  a  church  in  block  twelve,  Mankato,  which 
he  occupied  with  his  paper  about  the  first  of 
June.  This  location  has  ever  since  been  the 
home  of  "The  Eecord"  and  its  successor  "The 
Review." 

In  the  spring  of  1863,  the  Catholic  peo- 
ple of  Mankato  and  vicinity  began  agitating  the 
establishment  •  of  a  parochial  school,  and  a 
society  was  organized,  which  by  midsummer,  had 
a  membership  of  nmety.  The  initiation  fee 
was  $2.00  and  the  tuition  price  fixed  at  $3.50 
a  year.  Through  the  untiring  efforts  of  Father 
Sommereisen  the  Sisters  of  Notre  Dame  of 
Milwaukee,  Wis.,  were  induced  to  open  a  school 
that  fall  at  Mankato.  A  portion  of  the  church 
was    fitted    up    for    the    purpose. 

So  far  the  Protestants  had  no  regular  church 
building  in  Mankato.  This  year  the  Presby- 
terians began  to  urge  earnestly  the  building 
cf  a  church  edifice,  and  purchased  the  lot 
now  occupied  by  the  Security  Flats  for  the 
purpose. 

This  year  Bierbauer  and  Eockey  purchased 
the  South  Bend  Flour  mill  and  also  the  large 
sawmill  on  the  Bhie  Earth  in  West  Mankato, 
the  machineries  of  which  they  removed  to 
buildings  they  had  erected  for  the  purpose  on 
the  corner  of  Front  and  Eock  streets,  in  Man- 
kato, where  they  conducted  an  extensive  milling 
business   for   years. 

On  June  24th,  1863,  the  Mapleton  steam  saw 
mill  of  Middlebrook  Bros,  was  burned,  leav- 
ing that  section  of  the  county  destitute  of  all 
mill  privileges.  On  Aug.  1st,  1863,  Wm.  H. 
Blackmer  of  Shelljyville  was  appointed  deputy 
Provost  Marshall  for  Blue  Earth  County  and 
on  his  enlisting  in  the  army  a  month  later 
J.  T.  Williams  was  made  his  successor. 

At  this  time  the  great  civil  war  was  calling 
for  every  efl'ort  to  save  the  Union.  On  the 
return  of  Gen.  Sibley  in  September,  1863,  the 
government  ordered  the  7th,  9th,  and  10th, 
Jlinn.,  Eegiments  South.  There  was  gloom  and 
sorrow   in   many   a   home   over   the   parting   and, 


not  only  because  of  the  danger  of  southern 
battlefields  to  which  the  boys  were  going,  but 
also,  because  of  the  danger  to  helpless  wife  and 
children,  and  aged  parents  left  at  home,  ex- 
posed to  the  raids  of  the  hundreds  of  skulking 
savages,  still  on  the  war  path. 

On  Sept.  30th,  the  ladies  of  Mankato  pre- 
pared a  big  banquet  for  the  soldiers  before 
their  departure.  But  the  government  was  not 
satisfied  with  sending  these  regiments  into  the 
smoke  of  the  great  conflict  but  more  men  were 
called  for,  and  the  dread  specter  of  those  days, 
the  draft,  was  hovering  over  every  home,  where 
there  was  a  man  or  boy  left.  War  meetings  were 
held  again  this  fall  in  every  neighborhood  through 
the  county,  and  the  towns  whose  quotas  of  enlist- 
ed men  were  not  full,  were  making  every  effort 
to  fill  them  and  escape  the  draft.  Doctors  and 
lawyers  agreed  to  give  their  services  free,  mer- 
chants offered  barrels  of  flour  to  the  families  of 
such  as  would  enlist.  High  School  boys  banded 
themselves  to  saw  wood  for  the  soldiers  famil- 
ies. There  were  many  enlistments  made  over 
the  county,  most  of  whom  went  into  the  second 
Eeg.   Minn.,  Cavalry. 

Until  late  in  the  fall  the  government  had 
sent  no  supplies  to  the  new  Winnebago  and 
Sioux  reservations,  far  out  on  the  Missouri, 
and  they  had  no  food  for  the  winter.  James 
B.  Hubbell  of  Mankato  took  the  contract, 
and  about  the  first  of  November,  1863,  he 
started  with  a  long  train  of  supplies.  The  per- 
ils of  winter  storms  and  hostile  Indians  was  so 
great,  that  many  belonging  to  the  military 
escort  and  teamsters  furnished  by  the  govern- 
raent.  mutinied  near  Crystal  Lake.  The  burrs 
were,  taken  off  the  wagon  wheels  at  night  and 
hid,  and  many  men  deserted.  Mr.  Hubbell,  with 
his  wonted  push  and  energy,  got  a  number  of 
Blue  Earth  County  farmers  to  help  him  and 
in  spite  of  every  obstacle  delivered  the  supplies 
at  their  destination,  an  almost  incredible  feat. 
The  adventures  of  this  expedition  read  like  a 
romance,  but  are  outside  this  history.  It  is 
said  the  contractor  received  nine  cents  a  pound 
for  the  transportation,  amounting  to  about 
$54,000.00.  The  expedition  made  the  distance 
of  280  miles  in  eighteen  days. 

In    1862,    Blue   Earth    County    produced   73,- 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


143 


511  bushels  of  wheat,  6,355  bushels  of  rye,  2,- 
G41-  bushels  of  barley,  60,889  bushels  of  oats, 
1,563  bushels  of  buckwheat,  101,423  bushels 
of  com  and  57,145  bushels  of  potatoes. 

In  February,  1864,  J.  A.  Wiswell  had  a  bill 
enacted  by  the  Legislature  changing  the  name 
of  the  town  of  Watonwan  to  "Garden  City.'^ 
A  bill  was,  also,  passed  authorizing  Blue  Earth 
County  to  vote  on  the  proposition  to  issue  bonds 
to  build  the  following  bridges:  $6,000.00  over 
Blue  Earth  at  Mankato,  $1,300.00  at  Garden 
City,  $1,200.00  at  Vernon,  $1,500.00  over  the 
Le  Sueur  on  Agency  road.  At  the  special  elec- 
tion in  April  the  measure  was  defeated  by  a 
vote  of   382   to   306. 

The  Legislature  had,  also,  authorized  Man- 
kato to  issue  $10,000.00  in  bonds  to  build  a 
new  school  house  and  the  bonds  were  voted  on 
April  2nd,  1864.  During  the  winter  of  1863-4 
there  was  much  excitement  over  the  alleged 
discovery  of  coal  on  the  Big  Cottonwood  by 
Prof.  Eames,  a  geologist  from  Indiana.  Th's  in 
the  summer  of  18'64,  brought  on  an  epidemic  of 
coal  discoveries   in   Blue   Earth    County. 

There  was,  also,  much  talk  in  our  county,  and 
especially  in  Mankato,  regarding  the  "St.  Paul 
and  Sioux  City,"  and  the  "Winona  and  St. 
Peter"  railways.  During  the  summer  survey- 
ing parties  of  these  railways  were  at  work  in 
the  county. 

In  March,  1864,  the  County  Commissioners 
attached  the  south  tier  of  sections  in  Town 
lOS,  Range  twenty-five  to  LoEay  and  the  south 
tier  of  sections  in  town  108,  range  twenty-six  to 
Mankato,  and  in  May  the  South  tier  of  sections 
in  Town  108,  Eange  twenty-seven  were  attached 
to  South  Bend  and  Mankato.  On  May  2nd, 
1864,  David  Wilcox  was  appointed  county  Sup- 
erintendent of  schools  at  a  salary  of  $200.00 
a  year. 

The  winter  of  1863-4,  after  a  few  weeks  of 
severe  weather  during  the  holidays  broke  up 
early  and  some  seeding  was  done  in  February. 
A?  there  was  but  little  snow  or  rain  the  river 
was  rather  low.  The  first  boat  at  Mankato  was 
the  Jeanette  Eoberts  on  April  16th.  A  new  boat 
called  "Mankato"  was  put  on  the  Jlinnesota 
late  this  year.  The  citizens  of  the  county  seat 
were  so  pleased  with  the  compliment  done  them 


in  the  matter  of  name,  that  they  presented  the 
boat  next  spring  with  a  new  $30.00  flag.  The 
Eockey  and  Bierbauer  new  steam  fiour  mill  be- 
gan  operations   in  April. 

On  January  15th,  1864,  J.  T.  WilHams  re- 
signed as  County  Treasurer  and  E.  D.  B.  Por- 
ter was  appointed  in  his  stead,  and  on  March 
2fith  J.  J.  Lewis  of  Sterling  was  appointed 
County  Commissioner  in  place  of  Xelson  Gray, 
who  resigned.  During  May  and  June  there  was 
a   great  immigration  into  the  Winnebago   lands. 

In  June,  1864,  occurred  the  disastrous  battle 
of  Guntown,  Miss.,  in  which  the  9th  Minnesota 
suffered  severelj^,  causing  great  gloom  and  sor- 
row in  many  a  Blue  Earth  County  home  as 
two  or  three  of  its  companies  had  been  largely 
recruited    there. 

With  the  opening  of  spring  in  1864,  the  In- 
dians began  their  raids  into  the  settlements, 
mostl)'  for  the  purpose  of  stealing  horses.  The 
friendly  Indians  laid  much  of  the  blame  of  these 
continued  hostilities  to  false  reports  circulated 
among  the  Warring  bands  by  a  certain  Indian 
named  Enoch,  to  the  effect  that  the  whites 
had  hung  all  the  Indian  prisoners.  That  the 
woods  in  the  vicinity  of  Mankato  were  full 
of  their  skeletons.  This  so  exasperated  their 
relatives  among  the  hostiles  that  they  made  these 
raids  in  quest  of  revenge.  On  May  18th,  1864, 
a  hostile  band  raided  a  Settlement  near  Ma- 
delia  and  killed  a  boy  named  Jorgenson,  and 
wounded  a  soldier.  On  May  31st  a  man  named 
Dodge  discovered  an  Indian  in  the  woods  near 
his  home  in  South  Bend,  and  with  half  a  dozen 
soldiers  of  Company  M.  2nd  Cav.,  then  stationed 
at  South  Bend  village,  he  went  in  search  and 
found  him  seated  on  a  log  smoking  and  one  of 
the  soldiers  (a  half  breed  Chippeway)  shot  and 
killed  him.  Almost  ever\'  week  during  the 
whole  summer  Indians  were  seen  here  and 
there  along  the  frontier  and  a  number  of  whites 
and  Indians  were  killed. 

About  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  of  Thurs- 
day, August  11th,  1864,  ISToble  G.  Eoot,  with  his 
two  sons,  Edward,  aged  13  years,  and  Isaac  S., 
11  years  years  old,  was  in  his  field  in  section 
four  of  Shelby  stacking  some  oats.  Two  In- 
dians suddendly  emerged  from  the  timber  near 
by  and  were  upon  him  before  he  was  aware  of 


144 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


their  presence.  The  main  purpose  of  the  In- 
dians was  to  steal  his  horses,  hnt  Mr.  Eoot  was 
a  brave  man  and  faced  the  foe  in  defence  of  his 
property.  One  of  the  Indians  immediately  shot 
him  in  the  breast  inflicting  a  mortal  wound.  See- 
ing their  father  fall,  the  two  boys  slipped  down 
from  the  load  and  ran  for  the  brush.  One  of 
the  Indians  fired  after  them  and  hit  Edward  in 
tlie  shoulder  making  a  painful,  but  not  very  ser- 
ious wound.  The  savages  then  cut  the  horses 
loose  from  the  wagon  and  mounting  them  hur- 
ried off  to  the  west.  Edward  now  came  back  to 
his  father,  whom  he  found  still  alive  and  con- 
scious, procured  water  for  him  and  watched  be- 
side him  for  an  hour  or  two,  until  he  died. 
Other  members  of  the  family  rushed  off  to  the 
neighbors  for  help.  In  the  meantime  the  two  In- 
dians crossed  to  the  west  side  of  the  Blue  Earth 
and  were  joined  by  five  or  six  others.  On  the 
knoll  of  the  old  cemetery  near  the  center  of 
section  six  of  Shelby  they  found  some  horses 
grazing,  and,  by  means  of  a  long  rope  held  at 
either  end  by  the  two  mounted  Indians,  they 
drove  them  toward  a  fence  to  coral  them.  On  the 
forty  acres  just  west  of  the  cemetery  Jesse 
Mack,  James  H.  Hindman  and  Cornelius  Pox 
were  loading  some  loose  grain,  the  former  on 
the  load  and  the  two  latter  on  the  ground 
pitching.  The  Indians  discovering  they  had  a 
span  of  horses,  started  for  them  at  once.  The 
whites  saw  them  coming  and  Hindman  climbed 
upon  the  load,  but  before  Fox  could  do  so. 
Mack  had  prodded  the  team  to  a  gallop,  so  he 
clung  to  the  rear.  It  was  a  mad  race  across 
the  field  toward  Willow  Creek.  In  crossing  a 
dead  furrow  Mr.  Hindman  was  thrown  clear  off 
the  load.  He  picked  himself  up  quickly  still 
clinging  to  his  pitchfork  and  started  to  run, 
but  when  he  got  the  dirt  out  of .  his  eyes,  he 
saw  that  he  was  going  towards  the  Indians.  It 
did  not  take  him-  long  to  change  his  direction, 
but  the  Indians  paid  no  attention  to  him,  as 
they  were  after  the  horses.  Mr.  Mack  finally 
won  the  race  and  hid  his  horses  in  a  grove  by 
Oliver  Mather's  house.  He  procured  there  Wm. 
McQueen's  gun,  with  which  to  defend  himself 
and  team.  The  Indians  in  their  chase  after 
Jesse  Mack  discovered  some- horses  tied  around 
the  house  of   Gustavus   McCollum  on  the  south 


of  northwest  quarter  of  section  13  of  Pleasaiit' 
Mound,  on  west  side  of  Willow  Creek.  A  num- 
ber of  neighbors  were  gathered  there  for  a  so- 
cial time  and  a  supper.  When  the  Indians  ap- 
l)eared  on  the  scene  there  was  a  great  scattering. 
Jesse  Thomas  got  hold  of  an  old  rusty  rifle,  which 
would  not  go  off,  and  by  flourishing  it  managed  to 
scare  away  the  Indians,  while  he  and  his  wife 
mounted  their  own  horses  and  rode  away.  The  In- ' 
dians  managed  to  secure  two  or  three  horses  here 
and  hurried  off  to  the  south.  About  a  mile  up  Wil- 
low Creek  they  spied  Chas.  C.  Mack,  usually 
called  "Squire  Mack,"  the  father  of  Jesse  Mack, 
cutting  hay  along  the  west  bank  of  a  small 
branch  of  the  creek,  near  the  west  line  of  sec- 
tion 23,  with  a  span  of  horses  and  a  mower. 
Before  he  was  aware  the  foe  were  upon  him  and 
shot  him  dead.  The  Hindman  children,  who 
witnessed  the  tragedy  from  a  distance,  said  the 
Squire  had  quite  a  quarrel  with  the  Indians  be- 
fore he  was  shot.  The  horses  ran  a  few  rods 
until  the  mower  was  broken  and  then  were  cap- 
tured by  the  Indians.  Each  Indian  being  now 
supplied,  with  a  horse  they  galloped  off  to  the 
west.  When  they  reached  Mr.  Hindman's  house 
on  the  northeast  corner  of  section  27  of  Pleasant 
Mound,  they  stopped  and  broke  into  it  just  as 
the  children  escaped  by  a  back  door  and  hid  in 
a  slough  near  by.  Mrs.  Hindman  had  not  re- 
turned from  the  McCollum  quilting  party.  The 
Indians  ransacked  the  house  from  cellar  to  gar- 
ret ;  carried  out  the  feather  beds  and  emptied 
them  in  the  yard;  the  flour  they  threw  out  with 
the  feathers.  They  took  the  works  out  of  the 
clock  and  carried  them  off  as  jewelry.  They 
also  appropriated  whatever  suited  their  fancy, 
and   destroyed  most  of  what  they  left. 

Mr.  Hindman,  whom  we  left  making  rapid 
progress  from  the  Mack  field  after  being  thrown 
from  the  load  am'ong  the  blood  thirsty  savages,' 
fled  into  the  brush  of  Willow  Creek.  After 
following  the  head  of  the  stream  in  the  direction 
of  his  home  about  half  a  mile  he  ventured  up 
on  the  bank,  where  there  was  a  little  clearing. 
There  looking  straight  at  him  and  only  a  few 
rods  away  were  those  same  Indians.  Hindman 
was  too  much  astonished  and  out  of  breath  to  ■ 
run  so  he  and  the  Indians  stood  facing  each 
other.      One   of   the   savages    drew   a  big   knife- 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


145 


and  came  straight  towards  him.  He  still  had 
his  pitchfork  and  promptly  brought  it  to  a  charg- 
ing position.  When  within  a  few  feet  of  the 
fork  tines  the  Indian  halted  and  he  and  Hind- 
man  looked  each  other  in  the  eye  for  a  few 
moments.  The  Indian  did  not  like  the  looks  of 
the  pitchfork  and  concluded  to  retreat  and  Hind- 
man  came  to  the  same  conclusion  and  after  he 
had  gotten  an  opportunity  to  start  it  did  not 
take  him  long  to  leave  that  neighborhood.  He 
lied  down  the  creek  to  the  home  of  Mr.  Mack, 
where  he  found  his  own  pony,  which  he  had  rid- 
den there  that  morning.  Mounting  him  he  made 
all  speed  to  his  home  which  he  reached  after 
sundown.  He  found  the  house  deserted  and 
plundered.  Eemounting  his  pony  he  started 
full  speed  down  the  road  for  the  McCollum  home. 
When  he  had  gone  a  little  ways  his  pony  looked 
sharply  to  one  side  and  neighed.  Hindman 
peered  in  the  direction  indicated  through  the 
twilight  and  there  not  over  300  feet  away  were 
those  Indians  again.  It  is  needless  to  say  tha.4 
the  pony  did  not  have  time  to  either  neigh  or 
look  sideways  again  for  many  miles. 

Proceeding  westward  they  next  broke  into  the 
home  of  Esv.  tsaac  Gardiner,  a  preacher  of  the 
United- Brethren  church,  who  lived  on  the  north- 
east quarter  of  section  20.  Gardiner  and  his 
family  fled  from  the  house  on  the  approach  of 
the  Indians  and  escaped  southward.  The  In- 
dians carried  off  with  them  a  lot  of  good  cloth- 
ing they  found  here  and  continued  their  re- 
treat westward. 

The  excitement  in  Shelby,  Pleasant  Mound 
and  Vernon  that  night  was  intense.  The  set- 
tlers everywhere  deserted  their  homes.  Some 
fled  to  Shelbyville;  others  to  "Vernon,  where  there 
was  a  good  stockade  built  around  the  Smith  Ho- 
tel, while  others  still  gathered  at  Mr.  Harriman's 
log  house  midway  between  the  two  villages. 
Early  next  morning  the  Shelby  militia  under 
Capt.  Phineas  Lattin,  mounted  and  armed  with 
condemned  government  muskets,  started  in  pur- 
suit of  the  Indians.  They  found  the  body  of 
Squire  Mack  and  sent  it  back  to  Vernon.  They, 
also,  found  the  Hindman  children,  hiding  in 
the  slough  hack  of  their  pillaged  home, 
where   they  had   passed   the   night.      From   here 


westward  by  Eev.  Gardiner's  house  and  beyond 
the  west  line  of  the  county,  it  was  easy  to  fol- 
low the  trail,  as  it  was  strewn  with  pillows, 
quilts  and  articles  of  clothing,  which  the  sav- 
ages had  dropped  by  the  way.  But  far  out  in 
Watonwan  County  the  trail  was  lost  and,  after 
continuing  the  pursuit  beyond  where  St.  James 
now  stands,  the  militia  returned.  This  same 
day  messengers  were  sent  to  Mankato  and  to 
Fort  Eidgely  with  news  of  the  outrage.  Capt. 
Smith  with  a  squad  of  eight  men  of  Second 
cavalry  were  dispatched  from  the  fort  at  once. 
It  is  claimed  Capt.  Smith  came  up  with  the 
Indians  late  in  the  afternoon  and  had  a  brush 
with  them;  but  they  hid  in  the  tall  grass  of 
a  lake.  As  there  were  eight  of  them,  the  cap- 
tain concluded  that  discretion  was  the  best  part 
of  valor,  so  let  them  go. 

Friday  evening  B.  D.  Pay  was  dispatched  to 
St.  Paul  as  a  special  envoy  to  Gov.  Miller  for 
military  aid.  This  same  Friday  evening  Major 
Ed.  Bradley  left  Mankato  with  a  company  of 
mounted  militia,  who  pursued  after  the  Indians 
about  125  miles,  but  failed  to  overtake  them. 
In  response  to  Mr.  Pay's  appeal  Gov.  Miller 
dispatched  twenty  men  of  Company  K,  second 
Cavalry  and  twenty  men  of  Brackett's  Battalion 
from  Fort  Snelling  to  aid  in  the  pursuit,  but 
the  Indians  had  made  good  their  escape  into  the 
Dakota  plains  long  before  their  arrival. 

Immediately  after  this  raid  companies  of 
minute  men  were  organized  all  over  the  county. 
At  Mankato  A.  M.  Collins  was  made  captain, 
.1.  C  Haupt  first  lieutenant  and  W.  J.  Duly, 
second  lieutenant  of  such  a  company.  At  Ver- 
non a  company  of  twenty-two  men  was  organized 
with  A.  D.  Mason  second  lieutenant.  At  Shel- 
byville a  lilce  company  was  formed  and  at  Gar- 
den City.  Major  Evans  suggested  the  idea  of 
getting  twenty-five  negro  hounds  to  hunt  the 
Indians  with. 

On  the  38th  of  August,  1864,  the  men  who 
had  enlisted  from  Blue  Earth  County  in  Com- 
pany C,  11th  Minn.,  Vol.,  rendezvoused  at  Man- 
kato preparatory  to  their  departure  for  Ft. 
Snelling  to  enlist.  T.  E.  Potter  of  Garden 
City  was  made  their  Captain  and  James  Can- 
non of  Mankato-  second  Lieutenant. 


CHAPTER  XVI. 


CLOSING   EVENTS   OF  1864— MURDEE  OF 
THE  JEWETT  FAMILY. 


During  the  summer  of  1864  Silas  Kenworthy  of    a    great    educational   university    at    Mankato, 

and  his  sons-in-law,  H.  Mendenhall  and  Jas.  B.  had  built  him  a  large  frame  house  on  the  brow 

Swan,  began  the  erection  on  the  Blue  Earth  of  of '  the    high    bluff    overlooking   the    present    St. 

the    famous    Eapidan    Mill.      About    the    same  Joseph's  hospital  in  Mankato.     Here  he  opened 

time  C.  P.  Cook,  a  nursery  man  of  Garden  City,  a  3'oung  ladies'  seminary  on  November  1st,  1864. 

purchased   a  tract   of  land   with   a   water  power  It   was    called    ''Woodland    Seminary,"   and   mo- 

thereon  lower   down   on  the  Blue   Earth.      Here  deled   after  the  plan   of  Mt.   Holyoke  seminary, 

he  laid  out  a  townsite   called   "Eapidan,"   after  The  instructors  were  Miss  Angle  Crosby,  assistant, 

a   stream   in   Virginia    just    then    prominent   in  who    was    an    experienced    teacher,    fine    singer, 

the   operations    of    the    Army    of    the    Potomac,  good   housekeeper   and   manager;   Miss   Eliza  W. 

Thither  he   removed   much    of   his   nursery   late  Huggins   and  her  sister   Nannie,   who   had   both 

that  fall.     During  the  same  fall  a  saw  and  grist  been    in    mission    work    among    the    Sioux    and 

mill  was   fitted   up   and   put   into   operation   by  were  fine  teachers,   and  Miss  Belden,  the  music 

Aaron  Hilton  at  Winnebago  Agency.  teacher.     The  curriculum  included  besides  Eng- 

September  21st,  1864,  the  Sunday  schools  of  lish,  German  and  French,  and  the  tuition  ranged 
the  county  held  a  big  picnic  on  the  banks  of  from  $7.50  to  $13.50  per  term.  The  parlor  was 
Loon  Lake.  On  October  25th  the  first  teachers'  seated  and  desked  for  .about  forty  pupils,  the 
institute  was  held  at  the  Farmers'  Hall  in  Gar-  next  room  had  a  piano  and  was  devoted  to 
den  City,  at  which  addresses  were  made  by  Eev.  music  study.  There  were  about  twenty-five 
Jas.  Thomson,  E.  D.  B.  Porter  and  J.  G.  boarding  pupils  and  eight  or  ten  day  scholars 
Craver.  It  may  be  of  interest  to  give  a  list  of  in  attendance.  Each  girl  boarder  brought  her 
those  present  at  this  first  public  school  insti-  own  food  and  was  required  to  do  one  hour's 
tute,  which  is  as  follows :  Eev.  Jas.  Thomson,  work  each  day,  and  for  that  purpose  the  school 
Eev.  I.  Case,  E.  D.  B.  Porter,  Jas.  Miller,  S.  was  systematically  divided.  Two  girls  were 
C.  Clark,  Dr.  Welcome,  Lem.  Crane,  Calvin  to  prepare  breakfast,  getting  up  at  4:30  A.  M., 
Ellis,  J.  Bookwalter,  J.  E.  Edsell,  Edwin  so  the  morning  meal  could  be  served  promptly 
Craven,  Carrie  Pease,  Clara  JMcKenney,  H.  at  six  o'clock  each  morning;  two  were  to  clear 
Libbie  Millet,  Ella  Clark,  Emma  Smith,  Eliza-  the  table  and  wash  the  breakfast  dishes,  one 
beth  Friend,  Eliza  A.  Barney,  Mary  E.  Jones,  was  to  spend  her  hour  sweeping  and  dusting, 
Nettie  Hanna,  Annie  Patterson,  Carrie  Burgess,  two  prepared  dinner  and  two  washed  the  dishes 
Jennette  Conklin,  Florence  Evans,  Vernette  after  that  meal,  etc.  Father  Thomson  was  a 
Cram,  Anna  Parks,  Hattie  Eew,  Emily  Folsom,  Puritan  of  the  Puritans.  He  got  up  regularly 
Sarah  A.  Conklin,  Isabella  S.  Burgess,  Stella  at  3:30  A.  M.,  winter  and  summer,  and  all 
Sullivan,  Prudence  Degraff,  Amanda  Gail,  Addie  were  to  rise  at  5 :30  A.  M.  After  breakfast  a 
Gail,  Julia  Marvin,  Jennie  Marvin,  Ella  Wei-  half  hour  was  devoted  to  morning  worship, 
come,  A.  C.  Barney,  Secretary,  and  David  Wil-  The  girls  published  a  paper  called  the  'TVood- 
eox,  President.  land  Lighthouse,"  which  was  issued  every  two 
Father  Thomson,  whose  hobby  ever  since  he  weeks.  Miss  Huggins!  health  failing,  she  re- 
came  to   Minnesota  had  been  the  establishment  signed  after  the  first  term,   and  was   succeeded 

147 


148 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


by  Miss  Martha  T.  Eiggs,  daughter  of  the  noted 
missionary.  A  few  of  the  girls,  who  attended 
this  old-time  seminary  are  among  the  honored 
matrons  of  the  county,  and  love  to  tell  of  the 
good  old  days  when  they  attended  Woodland 
Seminary.  After  about  a  year  and  a  half 
Father  Thomson  was  obliged  to  abandon  this 
educational  project,  because  of  the  lack  of  funds 
and  the  failing  health  of  his  wife,  and  Wood- 
land Seminary  was  no  more.  The  old  building 
still  stands  on  the  brow  of  the  blufE,  now  almost 
a  ruin. 

This  year  (1864)  we  note  the  first  recorded 
attempt  to  manufacture  sorghum  in  the  coun- 
ty by  A.  J.  Crisp  of  Judson.  Doubtless, 
others  had  started  the  industry  before  this,  for 
in  the  early  sixties  it  became  quite  common  over 
the  county. 

In  the  fall  of  this  year  the  grasshoppers  made 
their  appearance  in  large  numbers  in  the  pres- 
ent town  of  Cambria,  devouring  all  the  late 
crops. 

The  political  situation  in  the  fall  of  1864  was 
as  interesting  as  usual.  There  was  a  warm 
contest  in  the  Eepublican  primaries  over  the 
nomination  for  District  Judge  between  Sherman 
Finch  of  Mankato  and  Horace  Austin  of  St. 
Peter.  •  The  convention  was  held  at  St.  Peter 
and  Mr.  Austin  won  by  one  vote,  and  was 
elected  that  fall  over  Judge  Branson,  the  Demo- 
cratic nominee.  The  Eepublicans  were  again 
successful  in  Blue  Earth  County.  The  news  of 
the  re-election  of  President  Lincoln  gave  the 
Eepublicans  great  cause  for  rejoicing.  The  girls 
of  Woodland  Seminary,  being  great  admirers 
of  the  War  President,  celebrated  the  event  by  a 
grand  illumination  of  their  building,  which 
because  of  the  conspicuous  situation,  was  quite 
effective. 

Senator  Wilkinson  in  his  distribution  of  gov- 
ernment patronage  had  made  many  enemies  in 
his  own  party.  Not  one  in  ten  of  the  various 
applicants  for  office  could  receive  appointments 
and  the  nine  unsuccessful  ones  felt  ugly  towards 
him.  Then  the  Senator,  in  spite  of  his  great 
ability  and  integritj^,  had  one  very  vulnerable 
point.  He  was  addicted  to  intemperate  hab- 
its, which  drove  from  him  the  support  of 
many    of    the    best   people    of    his    party.      The 


result  was  that  he  failed  of  re-election,  and  a 
man  of  very  mediocre  ability  succeeded  him. 

Among  the  other  events  of  1864  was  the 
building  of  the  Presbyterian  church,  which  was 
first  occupied  on  November  37th,  when  the  first 
sermon  in  it  was  preached  by  Father  Thomson. 

On  March  2nd,  1865,  Mr.  L.  C.  Harrington, 
then  a  member  of  the  Legislature,  secured  the 
passage  of  a  bill  changing  the  name  of  the 
town  of  "McClelan"  to  "McPherson,"  in  honor 
of  the  noted  Union  General  of  the  Civil  War, 
and  also  changing  the  name  of  "De  Soto"  to 
"Eapidan."  The  town  of  McClelan,  being  set- 
tled largely  by  people  of  the  Democratic  faith, 
made  a  vigorous  objection  to  the  change,  but  it 
availed  not.  The  Eepublicans  were  in  the  ma- 
jority, and  party  spirit  ran  high  in  those  days. 
During  the  winter  Capt.  Hugh  G.  Owens  was 
busy  recruiting  a  company  for  Heavy  Artillery 
service  in  the  war.  In  February,  1865,  this 
company  was  mustered  in,  as   Company  F. 

On  February  24,  1865,  the  first  medical  so- 
ciety was  organized  at  the  Mankato  House  by 
the  physicians  of  Blue  Earth  and  adjoining 
counties.      The    officers    selected    were: 

President,   Dr.  W.   E.   McMahan   of  Mankato. 

Vice-President,  Dr.  A.  W.  Daniels  of  St. 
Peter. 

Secretary,  Dr.  Wm.   Frisbie  of  Mankato. 

Corresponding  Secretaries,  Drs.  Weschke  of 
New  Ulm,  and  J.  W.  B.  Welcome  of  Garden 
City. 

Comniittee  on  Constitution  and  Bylaws,  Drs. 
La  Dow  of  St.  Peter,  Frisbie  and  Zenopolski 
of  Mankato,  Welcome  of  Garden  City,  and  Fran- 
cis   of    Sterling. 

The  winter  of  1864-5  was  quite  mild,  with 
hardly  any  snow  until  March,  when  there  was 
quite  a  fall.  Between  the  snow  and  copious 
rains  the  navigation  of  the  Minnesota  was 
quite  good  in  the  spring  and  sunamer  of  1865. 
The  Mollie  Mohler  and  Julia  entered  the  river 
as  new  boats.  Other  boats  engaged  were  the 
Albany,  Mankato,  Ariel,  Stella  Whipple,  Lans- 
ing, General  Sheridan  and  others.  These  boats 
brought  up  on  their  first  trips  over  fifty  wagon 
loads  of  goods  for  Garden  City,  Vernon,  Shel- 
byville  and  other  towns  along  the  Blue  Earth, 
which  required  mnch  teaming.     The  boats  car- 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


149 


ried  back  with  them  over  145,000  bushels  of 
wheat   from    Mankato   alone. 

The  public  school  teachers  of  Blue  Earth 
county  held  another  meeting  of  their  new  as- 
sociation at  Mankato  on  April  19th,  1865,  when 
the    following    officers    were    elected : 

President,    Prof.    J.    G.    Craven. 

Vice-Presidents,  E«v.  Thos.  Marshall  and  Jas. 
A.   Wiswell. 

Recording   Secretary,   Miss   Carrie   Pease. 

Cor.   Secretary,   Miss   J.   A.   Parsons. 

Treasurer,   Miss  M.   E.   Walker. 

Editor,  D.  Wilcox. 

Associate  Editors,  E.  Middlebrook,  M.  P. 
Hathaway,  Miss  E.  L.  Miller,  Miss  Anna 
Jenkins,  Miss  A.  M.  Crosby  and  Miss  A.  Per- 
rin.  About  thirty  or  forty  teachers  were  in 
attendance. 

Andrew  J.  Jewett  had  for  a  number  of 
years  been  a  prominent  citizen  of  Garden 
City,  where  for  a  time  he  had  held  the  posi- 
tion of  Postmaster.  He  was  very  active  and 
energetic  both  in  the  local  politics  of  the 
county  and  in  business.  The  previous  sum- 
mer he  had  purchased  the  northwest  quarter 
of  section  thirty-three  in  Eapidan,  built  there- 
on a  neat  log  house,  and  was  living  there  with 
his  wife,  Harriet  Jewett,  their  two  year  old 
son,  William,  and  Mr.  Jewett's  parents,  Mark 
Jewett  aged  seventy-three  and  Susan  Jewett 
aged  sixty-three,  the  latter  being  an  invalid. 
With  the  family  working  at  this  time  was  a 
young  man  twenty  years  old  named  Chas. 
Taylor,  a  relative  of  the  Jewett's,  whose  father, 
Moses  Taylor,  had  been  killed  by  a  horse 
kick  the  year  before,  and  whose  widowed 
mother  lived  on  the  claim  across  the  road 
from  S.  T.  Mills  in  Garden  City.  Mr.  Jewett 
was  now  about  thirty-two  years  old  and  Mrs. 
Jewett  about  thirty,  both  in  the  prime  of  life. 
Mr.  Jewett  had  a  friend  in  the  army,  Mar- 
shall T.  Fall,  3nd  Lieut,  of  Co.  B,  Brackett's 
Battalion  of  Cavalry,  who,  about  the  first  of 
April,  1865,  sent  Mr.  Jewett  some  $500.00 
in  money  to  pay  for  a  farm  he  had  bid  off 
for  him  at  the  second  sale  of  the  Winnebago 
lands,  which  payment  it  was  expected  would 
be  demanded  soon.  It  seems  that  in  Com- 
pany A  of  the  same  regiment  was  a  half  breed 


Sioux,  named  John  L.  Campbell,  a  brother 
of  Baptiste  Campbell,  one  of  the  thirty-eight 
Indians  hung  at  Mankato  in  1862.  He  had 
got  well  acquainted  with  Lieut.  Fall,  having 
occupied  the  same  tent,  and  knew  of  his  send- 
ing the  money  to  Mr.  Jewett  and  where  the 
latter  was  living  in  Blue  Earth  County.  He 
had  always  borne  a  hard  reputation  and  was 
accused  of  two  or  three  murders  among  the 
Indians.  Soon  after  Lieut.  Fall  had  sent  the 
money,  Campbell  deserted  and  came  back  to 
Minnesota.  He  repaired  immediately  to  Ft. 
Ridgely  and  thence  went  west,  where  he  met 
among  the  hostile  bands  some  of  his  old 
Indian  and  half  breed  friends.  Five  of  these 
he  induced  to  join  him  in  a  raid  into  Blue 
Earth  County,  pretending  he  wished  to  avenge 
the  death  of  his  brother,  and  also  holding  out 
prospects  of  rich  booty  in  horses  and  goods. 
The  success  of  former  raids,  which  had  been 
made  into  the  same  locality,  was  also  pointed 
out.  Stealing  cautiously  by  the  lines  of  mili- 
tary posts,  they  arrived  near  the  Jewett  home 
on  the  evening  of  May  1st,  1865.  The  next 
morning  at  about  half  past  six  o'clock  while 
the  family  were  eating  breakfast,  the  Indians 
came  upon  them  suddenly  through  the  east 
door  of  the  cabin.  There  was  another  door  at 
the  North  end  of  the  cabin,  and  Mrs.  Jewett 
snatched  up  her  little  boy  and  dashed  out 
through  this  door,  followed  by  her  husband. 
Some  of  the  Indians  fired  upon  them  and 
]iursued  them.  Mr.  lewett  fell  within  four 
rods  of  the  house  with  a  bullet  through  ids 
breast.  The  wound  was  not  necessarily  fatal, 
but  an  Indian  immediately  struck  him  with 
his  tomahawk  over  the  right  eye  fracturing  his 
skull  and  killing  him  instantly.  His  wife 
fell  dead  in  the  path  about  eight  rods  from 
the  house  with  a  bullet  near  the  heart.  The 
little  child  was  struck  a  severe  blow  on  the 
head  and  left  on  the  ground  for  dead,  ten 
feet  from  its  mother.  Twenty  rods  north  of 
the  house,  in  a  small  ravine  in  the  timber, 
Chas.  Tyler  was  chopping.  Him  they  shot 
dead  through  the  breast  with  a  ball,  a  buckshot, 
and  an  arrow.  Mark  Jewett,  the  old  gentle- 
man had  apparently  just  pushed  his  chair 
back  from  the  table  when  he  was   shot  in   the 


150 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


forehead^  the  ball  coming  out  near  the  crown. 
An  Indian  had  then  dealt  him  two  terrible 
blows  with  his  tomahawk,  one  cut,  a  gash  five 
inches  long,  extending  from  the  top  of  the 
head  to  near  the  right  ear,  the  second  gash, 
about  an  inch  forward  of  the  other  was  about 
three  inches  long.  Mrs.  Jewett,  St.,  had  been 
tomahawked  in  bed.  One  of  the  savages  had 
struck  her  with  the  back  of  his  tomahawk  on 
the  forehead  and  nose  smashing  that  part  of 
her  head  in,  and  on  top  of  her  head,  and  on 
the  right  of  her  forehead  were  two  fright- 
ful gashes  made  by  the  blade  of  the  tomahawk. 
She  must  have  been  killed  instantly.  The  In- 
dians then  plundered  the  house  and  took  a 
horse,  which  Jewett  owned,  and  John  Camp- 
bell  secured  the  money. 

Taking  the  horse  and  other  booty  with  them 
the  Indians  went  diagonally  across  the  Rapi- 
dan  prairie  in  a  northeasterly  direction  and 
entered  the  Le  Sueur  timber  just  north  of  a 
little  ravine  on  the  Gilbert  Webster  land  in 
section  eleven,  where  they  built  a  fire  and 
cooked  their  dinner.  They  were  seen,  when 
passing  over  the  prairie,  by  a  son  of  H.  C. 
Eberhart  while  herding  sheep  and  it  may  be 
by  one  or  two  other  persons. 

Having  no  further  use  for  his  associates, 
Campbell  left  after  dinner  and  took  the  road 
for  Mankato,  evidently  intending  to  go  to  his 
mother's  home  at  Traverse  Des  Sioux.  His 
main  object  evidently  had  been  to  secure  the  money 
and  he  used  his  five  Indian  comrades  merely 
as  tools  to  help  secure  the  booty,  and  to  hide 
his  crime,  for  he  thought  the  whites,  when 
they  discovered  the  deed,  would  naturally  at- 
tribute it  to  these,  five  hostiles.  Why  he  in- 
duced his  fellow  Indians  to  make  the  timber 
and  bluffs  of  the  Le  Sueur  back  of  Mankato 
their  hiding  place,  or  under  .  what  pretext  he 
left  them  will  never  be  known.  Certainly  no 
better  hiding  place  could  be  found  in  the 
county,  and  moreover  it  was  admirably  situa- 
ted for  carrying  out  the  pretended  objects 
of  the  expedition,  to  attack  Mankato  and  steal 
horses.  It  is  quite  likely  that  the  plan  de- 
termined upon  between  Campbell  and  the 
other  Indians  was  for  him  to  go  to  Mankato 
as   a   white   man,    unarmed,    and    thus    spy    out 


the  best  way  to  make  the  attack  and,  also, 
learn  where  there  were  horses  to  steal.  Wheth- 
er Campbell  had  any  thought  of  carrying 
out  such  designs  may  well  be  doubted.  It 
probably  was  only  a  way  of  getting  rid  of  his 
Indian  allies,  now  that  his  purpose  with  them 
had  been  accomplished.  How  his  plans  were 
foiled  we  shall  see  later. 

Mr.  Harlow,  a  neighbor  of  Jewett  heard  the 
firing  about  six  o'clock  in  the  morning,  but 
thought  nothing  of  it  at  the  time.  About  two 
hours  later  he  went  over  to  Jewett's  home  to  bor- 
row a  wagon.  As  he  approached  the  house  he  came 
upon  Mrs.  Jewett  lying  dead  in  the  path  and 
a  few  feet  from  her  lay  the  child  unconscious, 
but  breathing.  Nearer  the  house,  but  to  one 
side  lay  A.  J.  Jewett  dead.  In  the  house  a 
fearful  sight  greeted  him.  The  elder  Jewett, 
lying  in  his  blood  on  the  floor  with  his  brains 
oozing  from  the  gashes  in  his  head,  but  still 
alive.  The  elder  Mrs.  Jewett  lying  on  the  bed 
all  covered  with  blood  and  her  head  and 
face  smashed  beyond  recognization.  The  table 
set  for  breakfast,  the  chairs  upturned,  the 
chests,  trunks,  bureaus,  cupboards  and  beds 
broken  open,  ransacked  and  contents  scattered 
over  the  floor.  The  upstairs  rooms  showing 
llie    same    ransacking    and    confusion. 

Mr.  Harlow  did  not  tarry  long  amid  these 
scenes  of  horror  and  death,  but  ran  and  told 
a  Mr.  Burgess,  and  a  messenger  was  dispatched 
immediately  to  Garden  City,  four  or  five  miles 
away,  with  news  of  the  awful  tragedy.  Maj- 
or E.  P.  Evans  was  a  brother  of  the  elder 
Mrs.  Jewett  and,  with  a  number  of  Garden 
City  citizens,  he  repaired  at  once  to  the  Jew- 
ett home,  and  the  dead  and  wounded  were 
carried  to  Garden  City.  The  elder  Mr.  Jewett 
recovered  consciousness  for  a  short  time  the 
next  morning.  He  said  there  were  five  or  six 
Indians,  in  Indian  costume,  with  guns  and 
bows  and  arrows.  He  tried  to  tell  more  but 
could  not  be  understood.  He  died  on  this 
second  day.  The  child  however,  recovered 
and  is  now  a  resident  of  Mankato.  B.  D.  Pay 
v/ho  was  then  in  the  livery  business  at  Man- 
kato, was  returning  home  that  morning  of 
May  2nd,  from  Sterling,  whither  he  had  taken 
the   Goff  family.     When   passing  not  far  from 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


151 


the  Jewett  claim  he  met  J.  T.  Williams  and 
T.  M.  Pugh  ia  a  buggy  and  shortly  after  this 
they  were  told  of  the  murder.  Turning  back 
they .  overtook  Mr.  Pay  and  informed  him  and 
then  Williams  having  the  swiftest  horse  hur- 
ried ahead  to  carry  the  news  to  Mankato. 
When  Mr.  Pay  got  near  the  north  line  of  Ea- 
pidan  he  saw,  some  distance  aiiead  of  him 
in  the  road,  a  man  walking  towards  Mankato, 
but  he  soon  disappeared  behind  a  spur  of  tim- 
ber. As  he  was  descending  the  hill  towards 
John  A.  Jones  he  saw  the  man  again  walking 
through  the  woods  parallel  with  the  road. 
When  Campbell  (for  it  was  he)  reached  John 
A.  Jones'  cabin,  he  turned  in  and  asked  for 
a  glass  of  water.  While  Mr.  Jones  was  after 
a  fresh  supply  from  a  nearby  spring,  0.  W. 
Dodge  rode  up  to  inquire  if  the  Mankato 
Company  had  just  passed,  and  was  telling 
Campbell  of  the  murder,  and  on  Jones  return 
was  relating  the  facts  to  him,  also,  when  Camp- 
bell suddenly  started  down  the  road  without  wait- 
ing for  his  glass  of  water.  This  singular  conduct, 
coupled  with  the  fact  that  he  was  three- 
fourths  Sioux  and  a  stranger  aroused  Mr. 
Jones'  suspicion  and  he  communicated  the 
same  to  Dodge  and  advised  him  to  arrest  him 
and  take  him  to  Mankato.  Dodge  turned 
back  and  putting  spurs  to  his  horse  soon  over- 
took Campbell  and,  after  asking  him  a  few 
questions,  and  receiving  evasive  answers,  drew 
his  revolver  and  put  him  under  arrest  and 
brought  him  to  Mankato.  He  was  taken  to 
the  Clifton  House,  where  a  crowd  soon  gath- 
ered and  began  plying  him  with  questions. 
He  claimed  his  named  was  Pelky,  that  he 
was  a  halfbreed  Winnebago  and  had  been 
working  for  some  farmer.  Isaac  Marks  knew 
him  well,  however,  and  told  the  people  so. 
That  his  real  name  was  John  Campbell,  and 
that  his  mother  lived  at  Traverse  des  Sioux, 
and  that  he  was  a  bad  rascal.  Campbell  de- 
nied all  this  strenuously,  and  was  such  a  good 
talker  and  appeared  to  be  so  straight  for- 
ward, that  the  people  were  inclined  to  believe 
him  at  first.  He  called  Mr.  Flower  and  Mr. 
Pay  to  one  side  and  told  them  he  would  show 
them  some  Indians  if  they  would  go  with  him. 
He   was    finally    lodged    in    the    county    jail    to 


await  developments.  Deputy  sheriff,  John  Lor- 
ing,  in  the  excitement,  neglected  to  search  him 
when  putting  him  in  the  cell. 

A  few  Mankato  citizens  began  investigating 
some  of  Campbell's  stories  and  found  many  of 
ithem  contradictory  and  false.  That  night 
a  few  persons  took  him  out  of  the  jail,  put  a 
noose  about  his  neck  and  tried  by  torture  to 
force  confession  out  of  him,  but  it  did  not 
avail,  as  his  Indian  nature  was  proof  against 
any  torture  that  might  be  applied.  They  then 
searched  his  clothing  and  found  in  his  pocket 
a  lady's  white  handkerchief,  with  the  corner, 
where  the  initial  of  the  name  would  naturally 
be,  cut  off  and  the  towel  still  wet  and  having 
some  blood  on  it.  A  piece  of  soap,  a  pair  of 
Chippeway  moccasins,  a  plug  of  tobacco,  an 
old  Jackknife  and  $5.00  in  greenbacks  were 
also,  found.  It  was  also  discovered  that  he  had 
two  pairs  of  ladies  white  wool  hose  on  his  feet, 
and  a  pair  of  gents  shoes  that  were  not  the 
best  fit.  They  also  discovered  that  he  had  on 
a  broadcloth  coat  and  a  pair  of  new  pants. 
These  items  of  clothing  were  made  into  a  bun- 
dle and  sent  that  night  by  the  hand  of  B.  D. 
Pay  to  Garden  City  to  be  inspected  by  the 
relatives  of  the  Jewett  family.  Mr.  Pay  stop- 
ped first  at  the  Tyler  home  at  the  outlet  ol 
Mills  Lake.  Eva  Tyler,  sister  of  the  young 
man  who  had  just  been  murdered  with  the 
Jewetts,  had  been  working  for  the  Jewetts 
until  two  days  before,  and  was  very  familiar 
with  their  clothing.  She  described  the  coat 
before  seeing  it  and  her  description  tallied  ex- 
actly, even  to  a  certain  small  triangular  rent 
ou  the  sleeve,  which  has  been  darned,  and 
when  the  coat  was  shown  her  she  identified 
it  at  once  as  the  one  her  uncle,  Julius  Jewett, 
had  brought  with  him  from  Boston  and  given 
to  his  father,  the  elder  Jewett.  She  also  rec- 
ognized the  pants  as  the  same  her  uncle  had 
bought  at  Slocum's  store  in  Garden  City  and 
given  to  his  father  but  which  he  had  never 
^','orn.  The  stockings  she  identified  as  exactly  like 
what  Grandma  Jewett  wore,  the  shoes  were 
just  like  the  pair  her  uncle,  A.  J.  Jewett,  wore, 
and  the  towel  exactly  like  one  of  the  Jewett 
towels,  but  she  remembered  no  special  marks  on 
these  articles.     Mr.  Pay  then  went  on  to  Garden 


152 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


City  where  Mrs.  E.  P.  Evans  identified  both  coat 
and  shoes  and  Mrs.  Benjamin  Evans  recognized 
the  coat,  shoes,  and  both  pairs  of  stockings. 
Andrew  had  been  over  to  their  house  the  Sun- 
day before  and  she  had  joked  him  about  wear- 
ing his  brother's  coat  and  having  such  square 
shoes.  The  pants  she,  also,  identified  as  the 
new  pair  bought  for  Jewett,  Sr.,  and  the  stock- 
ings belonged  to  Grandma  Jewett,  one  pair  of 
which,  Mrs.  Evans  recognized  as  having  been 
knit  by  the  old  lady,  when  on  a  visit  to  her  home. 
The  clothing  having  been  positively  identified  as 
belonging  to  the  Jewett  family,  Mr.  Pay  returned 
to  Mankato  by  morning  with  his  report.  During 
this  same  night,  while  Pay  was  at  Garden  City, 
Peter  Kelley,  a  frontierman,  arrived  at  Man- 
kato from  Eed  Wood  and  said  Louis  Eoberts, 
the  old  Sioux  trader  and  steamboat  man,  had 
sent  word  that  Scott  Campbell,  a  halfbreed 
Sioux  trapper,  had  told  him,  that  his  brother, 
John  Campbell,  was  heading  a  marauding  band 
of  Indians  to  steal  horses  and  attack  Mankato 
and  to  be  on  the  lookout  for  them.  Kelly  knew 
John  Campbell  well  and  was  at  once  taken  to 
the  jail  and  immediately  identified  him.  Camp- 
bell now  saw  he  could  not  hide  his  identity  any 
longer  and  admitted  that  he  was  John  Campbell 
and  not  Pelky,  and  that  Scott  Campbell  was  his 
brother  and  that  his  mother  lived  at  Traverse 
des  Sioux,  near  Myrick's  store.  Next  morning 
when  he  found  that  the  clothing  too  had  been 
identified  he  told  a  new  story  to  the  effect,  that 
he  had  been  taken  prisoner  by  a  band  of  In- 
dians, while  out  near  Pt.  Wadsworth,  on  the 
Dakota  line.  He  said  there  were  nine  bands  of 
them,  and  he  gave  the  number  and  leader  of 
each  band.  That  they  came  down  to  the  Blue 
Earth  river  the  day  before.  That  about  noon 
that  day  near  the  Jones'  ford  on  the  Blue 
Earth  a  number  of  Indians,  who  had  been  away 
from  the  rest  since  the  night  before,  took  his 
own  clothes  away  from  him  and  gave  him  in- 
stead the  clothes  he  had  on.  That  these  In- 
dians were  now  hiding  in  the  woods  of  the  Le 
Sueur  back  of  Mankato.  That  he  had  managed 
that  afternoon  to  escape  from  them,  but  knew 
nothing  of  any  murder. 

The    excitement    at    Mankato,     Garden     City 
and  all  over  the  county  was  now  intense.     The 


identification  of  the  clothing  and  the  contradic- 
tory statements  made  by  Campbell  made  it  cer- 
tain to  everybody  that  he  was  one  of  the  mur- 
derers. Early  Wednesday  morning  the  people 
from  Garden  City,  South  Bend  and  all  the 
surrounding  country  came  pouring  into  Mankato 
until  a  crowd  of  800  men  had  gathered  in  the 
vicinity  of  the  Mankato  House  and  the  jail  and 
it  was  evident  from  the  temper  of  the  mob  that 
there  was  to  be  a  lynching.  Speeches  were  made 
by  Daniel  Buck,  J.  A.  Willard,  Eev.  Adams  and 
others  on  the  street  corners.  Some  advised 
strongly  against  lynching  and  wanted  the  law 
to  take  its  course  in  the  matter,  others  made 
fiery  speeches  in  favor  of  hanging  the  murderer 
at  once.  He  had  showed  no  mercy  to  the 
Jewett  family,  why  should  any  be  shown  him? 
These  sentiments  seemed  to  please  the  great  ma- 
jority and  cries  of,  "Hang  the  villain."  "Get 
the  rope  ready"  were  heard  everywhere.  There 
was  a  general  impression  among  the  people 
at  that  time  that  Gen.  Sibley  sympathized  with 
the  Indians,  and  fears  were  entertained  that, 
when  he  heard  of  the  arrest  of  Campbell,  he 
would  send  the  military  and  take  him  to  Pt. 
Snelling  or  elsewhere  and  that  there  was  a 
chance  of  his  escaping  the  gallows  like  most  of 
•the  other  condemned  Indians.  Col.  B.  P.  Smith, 
who  was  in  command  of  the  militia  of  Blue 
Earth  County,  in  a  speech  declared  he  would 
not  tolerate  any  lynching.  That  the  accused 
must  be  regularly  tried  and  convicted  of  murder 
by  a  jury  before  he  could  be  hanged.  The 
crowd  would  brook  no  delay  and  were  afraid 
Gen.  Sibley's  soldiers  would  appear  on  the 
scene  any  moment  and  carry  off  the  prisoner.  As 
a  compromise  it  was  suggested  to  give  him  a 
jury  trial  at  once.  A  meeting  of  the  citizens 
was  called  to  convene  on  the  Court  House  block 
immediately  after  dinner.  There  was  an  im- 
mense concourse  present.  A  court  was  improv- 
ished  with  S.  F.  Barney  as  Judge,  J.  A.  Willard 
prosecuting  attorney,  and  0.  0.  Pitcher  attor- 
ney for  the  defendant.  A  jury  -was  chosen 
composed  of  the  following  persons:  E.  K.  Bangs, 
Edward  Nickerson,  N.  Woloben,  D.  S.  Law, 
Abel  Keene,  Wm.  Funk,  A.  Tyler,  Chas.  Wag- 
ner, A.  T.  Noble,  J.  C.  Haupt,  A.  Thompson 
and  E.  H.  Smith.     The  session  was  held  in  the 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COTTNTY. 


153 


open  air  about  where  the  present  county  court 
house  stands.  The  prisoner  was  brought  be- 
fore his  tribunal  and  plead  "Not  Guilty." 
His  statement  in  brief  was  as  follows: 
He  knew  nothing  of  the  killing  of  the  Jew- 
etts.  He  had  been  taken  prisoner  on  the  Sioux 
Coteau  by  hostile  Indians  and  compelled  to 
go  with  them.  That  they  came  down  and  cross- 
ed the  Blue  Earth  River  about  three  miles 
above  the  ford  of  J.  A.  Jones  on  Monday  night 
(May  1),  a  party  of  16  in  all,  where  they  camp- 
ed all  night.  At  daybreak  on  Tuesday  (May 
2nd)  three  Indians  started  down  the  river,  five 
of  them  went  in  the  direction  of  where  a  mill  is 
being  built  on  the  river,  and  the  remaining  seven 
started  in  an  easterly  direction  towards  the  prairie. 
That  he  got  away  from  them  and  came  down 
the  river  to  Jones'  ford,  which  he  reached  in 
the  afternoon.  Before  he  could  get  across, 
the  seven  Indians,  who  had  gone  east  towards  the 
Eapidan  prairie,  came  upon  him  and  gave  him 
a  pair  of  pants,  a  coat  and  a  pair  of  shoes, 
which  they  compelled  him  to  put  on.  It  was  a 
halfbreed  named  Henry  Roy,  who  gave  him  the 
pants  and  coat  and  a  brother  of  standing  Buf- 
falo the  shoes.  Roy  was  the  only  halfbreed 
among  them.  There  are  nine  different  bands, 
numbering  five  to  sixteen  in  each  band,  all 
headed  for  the  Blue  Earth  river  with  intent  to 
attack  Mankato  from  the  rear  and  to  steal 
horses.  They  made  him  do  all  their  work  and  used 
him  badly,  and  Tuesday  morning  was  the  first 
opportunity  he  had  to  escape.  They  had  been 
eight  days  on  the  way.  Had  not  heard  of  tli& 
murder  until  Dodge  told  him  of  it  yesterday. 
He  had  enlisted  in  Co.  D,  3rd  Minn.  Infantry, 
and  afterwards  in  Co.  A  Braekett's  Battalion, 
and  had  served  nearly  three  years  in  all.  Ad- 
mitted he  had  deserted  from  the  army  and  was 
trying  to  get  to  Traverse  des  Sioux.  He  knew 
ihe  clothing  must  have  been  stolen  by  the  In- 
dians. 

The  prosecution  showed  the  conflicting  state- 
ments Campbell  had  made.  The  night  before 
he  had  not  seen  an  Indian  for  over  a  year,  that 
his  name  was  Pelky,  and  that  he  was  a  half 
brother  of  John  Pelky  of  Winnebago  Agency, 
that  he  had  clerked  for  H.  M.  Rice  and  others 
at   Long    Prairie,    and    many    other    statements, 


which  were  false  in  every  particular.  The 
clothes  were  fully  identified  as  belonging  to  the 
murdered  family.  The  Judge  charged  the  jury 
directing  them  to  give  the  prisoner  the  bene- 
fit of  every  reasonable  doubt.  The  jury  then 
retired  and  in  half  an  hour  brought  in  a  ver- 
dict of  guilty,  with  a  recommendation  that  the 
prisoner  be  tried  again  at  the  regular  term  of 
the  District  Court,  which  would  convene  in 
about  two  weeks.  Mr.  Bangs  as  foreman  of  the 
Jury  made  a  strong  plea  for  the  recommenda- 
tion. 

The  crowd  had  the  rope  with  them  ready, 
and  had  waited  thus  long  with  much  impatience. 
There  was,  however,  a  respectable  minority, 
who  were  in  favor  of  the  recommendation  and 
opposed  to  lynching.  They  tried  to  hold  the 
others  in  check.  But  the  personal  friends  of 
Mr.  Jewett,  and  especially  those  who  had  been 
out  and  witnessed  the  horrors  of  the  murder, 
were  furious  for  immediate  vengeance  and  with 
shouts  of,  "Hang  him,"  from  hundreds  of 
throats  they  made  a  rush  for  the  prisoner  and 
began  dragging  him  toward  a  basswood  tree, 
which  had  a  convenient  limb,  and  which  stood 
near  the  southeast  corner  of  the  courthouse 
square.  The  friends  of  law  and  order  grabbed 
the  prisoner,  also,  to  take  him  to  the  jail.  There 
was  a  wild  tumultuous  time  for  ten  or  fifteen 
minutes,  one  party  pulling  and  struggling  to 
get  Campbell  towards  the  jail  and  the  other 
party  dragging  and  pushing  towards  the  tree 
about  300  feet  away.  It  was  a  fierce  struggle 
between  determined  men.  Guns,  revolvers  and 
knives  were  drawn.  For  a  time  it  looked  like 
bloodshed  between  the  two  factions.  The  hang- 
ing party,  being  the  most  numerous,  were  finally 
successful,  and  seeing  that  resistance  was  useless 
tlie  law  and  order  party  desisted  for  fear  of  a 
worse  riot.  A  wagon  belonging  to  Geo.  Lam- 
berton  of  Garden  City  stood  near  by.  This 
was  run  under  the  tree,  the  prisoner  hustled  in- 
to it,  a  rope  adjusted  about  his  neck,  the  other 
end  tied  to  the  limb  above,  and  the  wagon 
pulled  away.  In  their  haste  they  had  forgotten 
to  tie  the  culprits  hands  and  he  grabbed  the 
rope  above  his  head  and  began  to  call  lustily 
for  a  priest.  The  wagon  was  pushed  back  un- 
der  the   poor   wretch.      Father    Sommereisen    el- 


154 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


bowed  his  way  through  the  crowd  and  climbing 
into  the  wagon  requested  a  few  minutes  to  talk 
and  pray  with  liim.  This  was  reluctantly 
granted  and  the  good  father  employed  the  mo- 
ments given  him  in  prayer  and  religious  con- 
verse with  the  doomed  man^,  speaking  with  him 
in  French.  His  hands  having  been  securely 
pinioned  and  the  time  having  expired,  the  wagon 
was  again  pulled  from  under  the  victim  and  he 
was  hanged. 

In  about  fifteen  or  twenty  minutes  Dr.  Zeno- 
polsky  pronounced  him  dead.  Father  Sommerei- 
sen  took  the  body,  and  in  accordance  vrith 
Campbeirs  last  request,  sent  it  to  his  mother  at 
Traverse  des  Sioux  for  burial. 

The  murderer  had  also  told  the  worthy  fath- 
er where  to  find  a  roll  of  money,  which  he  had 
hid  in  the  bedding  of  his  bunk  at  the  jail.  About 
$470  was  found,  evidently  the  booty  for  which 
he  had  committed  the  awful  murders,  and  which 
finally  brought  him  to  his  terrible  doom. 

This  was  the  first  and  only  instance  of  lynch- 
ing in  Blue  Earth  County,  and  that  there 
was  great  provocation,  which  in  those  days  of 
blood,  seemed  to  demand  speedy  punishment  for 
so  heinous  and  horrible  a  crime,  must  be  ad- 
mitted. Yet  the  ends  of  justice  would  have  been 
much  better  served  if  the  recommendation  of 
the  jury  had  been  heeded. 

While  these  scenes  were  being  enacted  on  the 
Court  House  square  quite  a  difEerent  scene  was 
transpiring  in  the  Presbyterian  church  just  one 
block  away.  Here  on  this  very  day  a  synod  of 
that  denomination  was  being  held,  and  in  it 
another  halfbreed  Sioux  was  being  ordained  to 
the  work  of  the  Christian  ministry.  This  was 
Eev.  John  B.  Eenville,  who  from  that  day  to 
this  has  been  a  faithful,  consistent  follower  of 
the  Christ,  and  an  earnest  able  preacher  of  his 
gospel.  At  the  opening  of  the  synod,  Monday 
night,  Dr.  Williamson  in  his  sermon  had  dwelt 
at  some  length  upon  the  wrongs  done  to  the 
Indians.  His  words  were  true  and  well  meant, 
but,  as  it  happened,  inopportune.  The  next 
morning  occurred  the  Jewett  murders,  followed  by 
the  arrest  of  John  Campbell,  and  on  Wednesday 
the  excited  populace  thronged  the  streets  of  Man- 
kato  thirsting  for  vengeance.  Garbled  extracts 
of  the  sermon  were  talked   over  by  the  rabble 


and  false  reports  circulated  to  the  effect  that  the 
Indians,  who  murdered  the  Jewetts,  had  come 
down  from  Dakota  with  Dr.  Williamson.  All 
manner  of  wild  and  lying  rumors  about  the  good 
old  man  were  told  upon  the  street,  and 
the  mob  were  beginning  to  cry  that  they 
would  hang  Dr.  Williamson,  too.  Before  din- 
ner a  committee  of  three  prominent  Mankato 
citizens  went  to  the  church,  and  calling  the  good 
old  missionary  to  the  door,  explained  the  sit- 
uation, and  advised  him  to  leave  town  at  once. 
The  grapd,  innocent,  kind  hearted  old  doc- 
tor thanked  the  committee,  left  the  meeting 
and  mounting  his  pony  hurried  to  his  home  at 
St.   Peter. 

On  the  afternoon  of  the  day  of  the  murder 
Major  Evans  organized  a  mounted  posse  at 
Garden  City  to  pursue  the  Indians.  Joseph  Dil- 
ley,  G«o.  Heaton  and  Mr.  Travis  were  members. 
They  found  where  they  had  crossed  the  Maple 
liver,  and  where  they  had  cooked  one  or  two 
meals.  An  Indian  blanket,  a  buffalo  roTae,  and 
some  flour  were  found  on  the  trail.  The  posse 
camped  that  Tuesday  night  on  the  trail.  The 
next  morning  they  found  where  the  Indians  had 
crossed  the  Le  Sueur  and  two  or  three  of  them 
had  gone  down  the  river  and  the  others  up  the 
stream.  So  rugged  and  wild  was  the  country 
and  so  dense  the  forest,  brush  and  vines  that 
further  pursuit  on  horseback  was  impossible  be- 
sides being  foolhardy,  and  the  company  returned 
home.  Mr.  Stratton  and  other  settlers  of  Eapi- 
dan  engaged  to  some  extent,  also,  in  the  search. 
Within  an  hour  after  the  news  reached  Mankato 
on  Tuesday  afternoon,  Maj.  Clark  started  for 
Garden  City  with  twenty  mounted  men,  and 
picketed  the  road  from  the  village  to  Eush 
Lake  all  night.  Militia  men  from  South  Bend, 
formed  a  line  of  pickets  from  Le  Huillier  to 
join  Maj.  Clark's  line.  Lieut.  Mason,  in  com- 
mand of  the  Vernon  Militia,  established  a  pick- 
et line  from  Vernon  Center  to  Garden  City. 
The  Militia  of  Sterling  and  Mapleton  formed 
a  long  skirmish  line  and  combed  the  timber 
and  brush  bordering  the  Maple  river  almost 
to  its  mouth. 

Saturday,  May  6th,  a  detachment  of  Company 
F,  2nd  Cavalry  in  command  of  a  sergeant,  went 
from  Mankato  in  pursuit  of  the  Indians.  They 

\ 


^  ^  ST.CLAIR.GOODTHUNDeR'"'«>BeLLei'ietD--  1 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


155 


followed  the  trail  from  near  the  Jewett  home 
across  the  Maple  and  a  strip  of  Prairie  between 
it  and  the  Mouth  of  the  Big  Cobb.  The  remains 
of  a  cow  and  sheep  were  discovered  which  the 
Indians  had  killed  for  food.  The  soldiers  camp- 
ed on  the  trail  Saturday  night,  and  Sunday 
morning  they  discovered  the  Indian  camp 
on  the  Le  Sueur  river  about  two  miles 
from  their  own.  Continuing  the  pursuit  up 
tJie  Le  Sueur  through  the  rough  land  and  dense 
forest  and  brush  one  soldier,  named  James  Jol- 
ley,  who  was  a  little  in  advance  of  his  com- 
rades, saw  an  Indian,  who  shot  at  him.  He  re- 
turned the  fire  and  the  Indian  apparently  fell. 
When  the  spot  was  reached  a  large  pack  of 
cooked  meat  was  found  but  no  Indian.  He  pro- 
bably had  merely  dropped  to  the  ground  to 
avoid  the  bullets  and  sneaked  away.  The  trail 
■H'as  followed  about  two  hours  up  along  the  river 
bank.  When  searching  for  it  in  a  bend  of  the 
river,  the  soldiers  were  fired  upon  from  the  op- 
posite bank.  They  returned  the  fire  and  saw 
a  number  of  Indians  skulking  behind  trees. 
The  Indians  fired  another  volley  and  this  time 
a  ball  hit  James  JoUey  in  the  left  breast,  just 
above  the  heart.  He  fell  from  his  horse  and 
raising  himself  partly  from  the  ground,  said, 
"Boys,  I  am  shot,"  and  then  fell  back  dead. 
The  soldiers  now  withdrew  from  their  exposed 
position  to  a  nearby  thicket  and  the  Indians 
fled  further  up  the  river.  The  death  of  their 
comrade  discouraged  the  soldiers  and,  picking 
up  his  body,  they  strapped  it  upon  his  horse  and 
brought  it  back  to  Mankato. 

This  same  day  a  company  of  volunteers  from 
Mankato  and  Winnebago  Agency  were  picketed 
along  the  Mankato  and  Agency  Eoad.  They 
heard  the  firing  down  the  Le  Sueur  between  the 
soldiers  and  Indians  and  knew  from  the  sound 
that  the  latter  were  coming  towards  them.  Some 
of  them  got  scared  and  left,  and  the  savages  passed 
up  through  their  line.  Just  across  the  Le  Sueur 
on  the  Agency  road  was  the  cabin  of  A.  Mc- 
Carthy. Mrs.  George  Bennett  with  her  ten 
year  old  son,  Frank  York,  had  brought  some 
food  to  the  McCarthy  house  for  the  volunteers. 
B.  D.  Pay  had  been  to  the  Agency  with  a 
message  from  Judge  Buck,  and  on  his  return 
wanted  to  know   where   a   certain   squad,   which 


had  been  stationed  near  ]\leCarthy's  place,  was. 
The  York  boy  had  mounted  one  of  the  horses 
belonging  to  the  men  and  was  riding  it  around. 
He  offered  to  guide  jMr.  Pay  and  started  along 
a  path,  which  led  east  of  the  house  through 
some  brush  to  a  tract  of  lo-w  land.  When  descend- 
ing a  short  hill  to  this  valley,  they  saw  a  man, 
dressed  like  a  white  man,  walking  through 
some  brush  and,  mistaking  him  for  one  of  the 
militia.  Mr.  Pay  hollered  to  him  to  come  up 
there.  The  man  answered  in  English  with  a 
French  accent  and  as  he  turned  Pay  saw 
he  was  an  Indian  or  halfbreed  and  wheeled  his 
horse  round  and  galloped  back.  The  Indians 
fired  a  volley  at  them  and  the  boy's  horse  fell 
dead.  The  boy,  after  falling  with  his  horse, 
jumped  up  and  ran  back  some  twenty  rods  to 
the  house  and  at  the  door  fell  into  his  moth- 
er's arms  and  expired.  A  charge  of  buckshot 
had  passed  through  his  body. 

It  was  now  getting  towards  dusk  and  further 
pursuit  was  abandoned  that  night.  The  Indians, 
disappointed  and  mystified  by  the  failure  of 
Campbell  to  return  and,  knowing  that  their 
biding  place  had  been  discovered,  concluded  it 
was  high  time  for  them  to  escape.  To  this  end 
tliey  tried  on  Monday  night.  May  8th,  to  secure 
some  horses. 

On  this  evening  H.  C.  Howard,  who  resided 
on  his  farm  on  the  south  bank  of  Loon 
Lake,  took  his  family  to  Garden  City,  where 
there  was  a  log  fort  for  safety.  A  young  man 
named  Eobert  Johnson,  from  Brooklyn,  N.  Y., 
was  staying  with  the  Howards  at  this  time.  He 
came  with  them  to  Garden  City,  but  not  being 
able  to  find  any  place  to  sleep,  except  on  the 
fioor,  he  concluded  to  return  to  the  Howard 
home,  as  he  did  not  think  there  were  any  In- 
dians around  any  way.  When  he  reached  the 
house  he  was  surprised  to  find  the  cattle  running 
loose  in  the  door  yard.  He,  also,  heard  the 
colt  in  the  stable  call  for  its  mother,  who  an- 
swered it  from  down  by  the  lake  shore.  Some- 
thing was  wrong,  for  everything  had  been 
safely  shut  up  when  they  left.  It  was  a  moon- 
light night.  He  went  into  the  house  and  got 
his  gun,  and  then  went  to  the  barn  and  let  the 
colt  out.  It  seemed  greatly  excited  and  scared 
and  kept  close  to  Johnson,  as  he  walked  through 


156 


HISTORY  OP  BLtJE  EARTH  COtTNTY. 


the  grove  toward  where  he  could  still  hear 
the  mare  whining  for  the  colt.  When  he  got  to 
a  little  rise  of  ground,  where  he  could  see  down 
tlie  lake  front,  he  saw  a  man  trying  to  lead  tlin 
mare  over  a  ditch  or  small  creek.  She  was  un- 
willing to  go  and  pulling  back.  Without  realizing 
ills  danger  Johnson  walked  straight  toward  the 
man  and  shouted  to  him.  The  Indian  (for  such 
he  proved  to  be,)  seeing  Johnson's  gun,  dropped 
the  halter  and  ran  behind  an  oak  tree  about  fifty 
feet  away.  Johnson  jumped  on  the  mare  and, 
as  he  started  back,  he  glanced  behind  toward 
the  tree  and  saw  the  barrel  of  a  gun,  pointed 
toward  him,  glisten  in  the  moonlight.  He  rais- 
ed his  own  gun  instantly,  and  the  Indian  and 
he  fired  simultaneously.  Two  or  three  other 
Indians,  who  were  hiding  behind  trees,  also 
fired  at  him,  and  one  bullet  struck  his  hand. 
Mounted  on  the  frightened  mare  it  did  not  take 
Johnson  long  to  get  beyond  the  reach  of  the 
Indian  guns,  nor  did  he  stop  until  in  Garden 
C'ity.  It  was  now  midnight,  but  the  news  he 
brought  soon  woke  up  the  people  and  there  was 
much  excitement.  As  there  were  two  or  three  fam- 
ilies staying  at  their  homes  that  night  in  the  vi- 
cinity of  Loon  Lake,  it  was  feared  they  might  be 
murdered.  A  mounted  posse  composed  of  H.  C. 
Howard,  E.  P.  Evans  and  three  or  four  others 
volunteered  to  go  to  their  rescue  at  once.  They 
found  them  safe  and  unmolested,  the  Indians 
having  retreated  from  the  Howard  farm  east- 
ward to  the  Blue  Earth  river  timber.  The  same 
night  the  Indians  attempted  to  steal  the  horses 
of  Carl  Just  in  Rapidan,  but  before  they  reached 
the  barn  their  presence  was  discovered  by  two 
fierce  dogs.  The  appearance  of  Mr.  Just  with 
a  gun  together  with  the  angi-y  barking  of  the 
dogs  finally  scared  the  tliieves  away.  This 
same  Monday,  Major  Clark,  with  a  large  posse 
from  Mankato,  had  been  scouring  the  woods 
of  the  Le  Sueur  in  the  vicinity  of  where  Mr. 
JoUey  was  shot.  The  Indians  saw  that  mat- 
ters were  getting  critical  and  that  the  sooner 
they  got  away  the  better  for  them.  Two  of 
them  managed  to  steal  a  couple  of  horses  in 
Shelby  township  and  by  daybreak  Tuesday  they 
started  across  the  vast  prairies  for  their  fast- 
nesses in  the  far  off  Turtle  Mountains.     They 


had  no  fear  but  they  could  elude  the  white  sol- 
diers, stationed  in  the  frontier  forts  and  there- 
fore journeyed  leisurely.  But  since  they  came 
down  to  the  settlements,  something  had  hap- 
pened that  they  did  not  know  about.  For  three 
years  it  had  been  clearly  demonstrated,  that  a 
line  of  forts  along  the  frontier  with  a  squad  of 
soldiers,  galloping  on  their  horses  back  and 
forth  between  them,  about  once  a  day,  was  no 
protection  whatever  from  Indian  raids.  The 
wily  savages  could  crawl  undetected  under  the 
very  shadow  of  these  fortresses. 

Maj.  Joseph  R.  Brown,  Gen.  Sibley  and  Maj. 
Robert  D.  Rose  had  in  their  charge  a  large 
number  of  friendly  Indians  and  halfbreeds  and 
appreciated  fully  their  value  as  scouts  in  hunting 
other  Indians.  After  repeated  recommendations, 
the  government  at  last  gave  heed  to  their  advice. 
Accordingly  in  the  Fall  of  1864  Major  Brown 
was  authorized  to  enlist  as  many  of  these  In- 
dians as  he  saw  fit  into  the  government  service. 
Joseph  Renville  was  appointed  chief  of  scouts 
under  Maj.  Brown,  and  was  to  make  monthly 
reports  to  Maj.  R.  D.  Rose,  a  commandant  of 
Ft.  Wadsworth.  In  the  spring  of  1865  a 
number  of  lines  of  these  scouts  were  put  along 
the  frontier.  One  of  these  extended  from  the 
Shyenne  River  to  the  James  river  and  had  seven 
stations  in  it,  each  station  having  from  twelve 
to  fifteen  scouts  in  it.  At  one  of  these  stations, 
was  a  scout,  who  was  thereafter  called;  "One 
Armed  Jim,"  and  the  incident  which  gave  him 
the  name  is  connected  with  the  Jewett  murder. 
About  the  17th,  of  May,  1865,  Jim  mountd  his 
pony  and  started  on  a  scouting  trip  after  din- 
ner. It  was  a  bright  clear  day  with  a  gentle 
breeze  from  the  south  east.  He  had  only  gone 
n  mile  or  two  from  camp,  when  his  pony  began 
to  act  strangely.  Jim  at  once  concluded  that 
there  must  be  literally,  "something  in  the  wind." 
Tethering  his  pony  behind  a  small  knoll  and 
plaiting  a  wreath  of  grass  for  his  own  head,  he 
crawled  cautiously  to  the  top  and  scanned  the 
prairies  carefully  for  a  time  toward  the  south 
east  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach.  He  soon 
caught  sight  of  small  herds  of  buffalo  moving 
westward,  having  evidently  been  disturbed  by 
the  scent  of  human  beings  to  the  eastward.  It 
was   th.e   smell    of   the  buffalo,   which   had   dis- 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY.  157 

turbed  his  pony.     But  what  interested  Jim  was,  the  young  bucks   of  the  warlike  Dakotahs,   sud- 

who  had  disturbed  the  bufEalo.     So  he  kept  his  denly   became    very   unpopular    and    soon    ceased 

eye  fixed  in  the  direction  they  were  moving  from,  altogether  and  forever. 

At  last  he   caught   sight   of   five   horsemen    ap-  On  May  17,  1865,  the  Board  of  County  Com- 

proaching  along  the  distant  foot  hills.     He  con-  missioners  of  Blue  Earth  county  passed  a  reso- 

cluded  they  must  be  hostiles  returning  from   a  lution  offering  a  bounty  of  $200  for  every  hos- 

raid    and,    crawling    cautiously    back    from    the  tile   Indian   scalp  taken  in  Blue   Earth   County, 

top  of  the  knoll,  he  took  his  little  pocket  mir-  which    barbaroiis    resolution    continued    in    force 

ror  and  made  signals  with  it  in  the  sun  to  his  until    March    19,    IST?,    when    it    was    repealed. 

Indian  comrades.     It  was  not  long  before  three  The  county,  however,  was  never  called  upon  to 

of  them   responded.     The   four   selected    a   spot  make  good  its  offer. 

where  the  trail,  after  crossing  a  small  swale,  The  killing  of  his  relatives  and  the  failure 
iiseended  out  of  it  through  a  small  gully  and  of  the  militia  and  military  to  apprehend  the 
concealed  themselves  in  some  grass,  which  grew  murderers,  though  they  skulked  around  the 
a  trifle  taller  than  elsewhere  in  an  angle  of  the  neighborhood  for  a  full  week,  induced  Maj.  E. 
gully.  No  one  knows  better  than  an  Indian  p_  Evans  to  push  his  scheme  of  getting  blood- 
how  to  form  a  good  ambush.  With  a  fillet  of  hounds  from  the  south,  with  which  to  hunt 
grass  on  his  head  and  a  string  of  grass  down  his  prowling  Indians.  On  May  27,  the  representa- 
back,  he  can  lay  on  the  prairie  and  be  so  con-  tives  of  four  counties  met  at  Mankato  to  dis- 
formed  in  color  and  appearance  to  his  surround-  cuss  the  project  and  take  action  with  reference 
ings,  that  one  might  pass  within  a  few  feet  and  to  it.  Those  present  were  Andrew  Hanna  of 
never  suspect  his  presence.  In  due  time  the  five  Blue  Earth  County,  John  Castor  of  Brown,  Mr. 
hostiles  came  without  a  suspicion  of  danger  di-  Furber  of  Watonwan  and  A.  L.  Ward  of  Mar- 
rectly  into  the  trap  laid  for  them.  Instantly  at  tin.  It  was  concluded  to  procure  bloodhounds 
a  given  signal  the  four  scouts  Jumped  to  their  and  eacli  county  appropriated  for  the  purpose 
feet  with  a  war  whoop  and  fired  at  close  range,  the  following  amounts: 
Three   of   the   hostiles    fell    dead    and   the   other 

,  T    -,  .,    „  1        ,,     ■      ,  Blue    Earth     .$500.00 

two  were  wounded  and  thrown  by  their  horses,     ixartin     400. 00 

One  of  these    two   was    quickly   dispatched,   but     Brown     200.00 

i.1         , ,  .,,     T-  11-11  1  -1  T  Wa.tomvan      200 . 00 

the  otlier,  with  Jim  at  his  heels,  ran  like  a  deer 

to  a  pony,  which  had  been  tethered  by  one  of  E.  P.  Evans  was  appointed  an  agent  to  go 
the  scouts  near  by.  As  the  hostile  was  mount-  south  and  buy  the  dogs.  He  started  on  June 
ing  the  pony  Jim  fired  at  him,  but  in  the  excite-  1st,  and  at  St.  Paul  Gov.  Miller  gave  him  $100 
ment  he  had  overloaded  his  gun  and  it  exploded,  for  the  enterprise,  and  "The  Press"  $.50,  and 
blowing  off  his  hand  and  shattering  his  arm  so  it  a  few  other  prominent  citizens  contributed  like 
liad  to  be  amputated.  The  mare  and  colt  belonging  amounts.  The  Major  spent  three  months  and 
toMr.  Jewett  were  recovered  here  and  a  lot  of  traveled  1500  miles,  but  could  not  find  a  single 
silverware  bearing  Jewett's  initials  and  some  cloth-  bloodhound.  He  finally  managed  to  get  thir- 
ing  which  had  been  stolen  from  the  Jewett  teen  fox  hounds,  with  a  little  blood  hound  blood 
™™^-  in  two  or  three  of  them.  Six  of  these  he  sent 
So  of  the  six  Indians  implicated  in  the  Jew-  by  Capt.  Potter  from  Tennessee  in  July  and  the 
ett  murder,  five  met  their  just  doom,  and  the  other  seven  he  brought  with  him  in  August  to 
sixth  would  have  done  so  were  it  not  for  the  Mankato.  The  major  filed  an  itemized  state- 
bursting  of  Jim's  gun.  During  the  spring  and  ment  of  the  receipts  and  disbursements  con- 
summer  of  1865  these  friendly  Indian  scouts  nected  with  the  matter  which  is  as  follows: 
exterminated  every  party  of  hostile  Sioux,  which 

ventured    near   their    lines,    and    raiding   of    the  RECEIPTS, 

white  settlements  for  murder  and  plunder,  which     From   Blue    Earth   County $480.00 

■  ,   ,1  J!  J    ii,  ■  i.      i!      From     Martin     County 200.00 

■■.or  three  years  formed  the  mam  amusement  of     y^^^  Watonwan  County    150.00 


158  HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 

Prom  friends  in  St.  Paul 386.00  the  Indian  scouts  and  blood  hounds,  three  mili- 

From    friends   in    Boston 10.00  ,  ,.  ,,,.,11,1       ^^n       r  -.r 

tary  lines  were  established  by  the  loth  of  May 

Total     $1,226.00  1865,  for  the  defense  of  the  frontier.     The  first 

DISBURSEMENTS.  ^™^    extended    from    Eedwood    by    Heron    Lake 

Paid  for  13  dogs $325.00  t°    Spirit  Lake   and  had  seven   garrisons   in  it 

Paid  traveling  expenses  of  agent  and  trans-  from  ten  to  sixteen  miles  apart  with  134  mount- 

portation   and   care   of   does 522.28         ^        ,    .  t  ,   -t     ±   n    n        ■  mi  t    t 

Paid  salary  of  agent  at  $2  per  day,  100  days    200.00  ed  soldiers  distributed  therein.     The  second  hne 

Paid  expense  of  keeping  dogs  in  Manltato  be-  extended    from-    Ft.    Eidgely    by    Leavenworth, 

Money   on   'n^d.............................     155!47  ^^^.ke     Hanska,     Madelia     to     Jackson,     having 

eight    garrisons     and     146     soldiers    distributed 

'  ■  therein.  The  third  line  was  as  follows : 
The  dogs  were  divided  six  to  Blue  Earth  M'ankato  40  soldiers.  Loon  Lake  11  sol- 
County,  three  to  Martin  and  three  to  Watonwan  diers,  Garden  City  20  soldiers,  Vernon  Cen- 
Counties.  The  other  dog  had  escaped  the  first  ter  21  soldiers,  Winnebago  City  21  soldiers, 
night  they  arrived  in  Mankato.  The  six  dogs  making  five  garrisons  and  113  soldiers  distrib- 
apportioned  to  Blue  Earth  County  were  kept  uted  therein.  Then  fifty  mounted  minute  men 
at  the  expense  of  the  county  for  a  time  by  a  were  stationed  in  groups  of  five  or  six  between 
Mr.  E^Tggles  of  Vernon  Center,  who  was  a  the  second  and  third  lines.  In  all  443  soldiers 
returned  soldier  and  pretended  to  understand  were  stationed  as  guards  in  southwestern  Minne- 
the  management  of  that  kind  of  dogs.  They  sota.  Beside  all  this  the  militia  companies  in 
were  tested  in  tracking  a  white  man  on  foot,  every  town  were  kept  on  duty  more  or  less, 
and  again  on  horse  back,  and  it  is  claimed  the  But  as  we  have  stated  before,  the  raid  led  by 
test  was  successful.  Then  early  in  September  John  Campbell  was  the  best  ever  made  into 
there  was  a  big  scare  over  a  report,  that  a  party  Blue  Earth  County.  The  Sioux  war  was  now 
of  Indians  had  been  seen  in  the  timber  in  practically  over  as  also  was  the  great  Eebellion. 
Eapidan  and  Decoria  and  Capt.  Davy  started  The  year  1865,  saw  the  end  of  both.  For  four 
after  the  enemy  with  a  squad  of  men  and  the  years  the  people  of  Blue  Earth  county  had  been 
hounds  full  tilt,  but  the  band  of  painted  sav-  so  absorbed  in  the  two  wars,  and  especially  in 
ages  with  guns  and  tomahawks  proved  to  be  two  the  Indian  war,  that  they  had  had  no  time  to 
or  three  friendly  halfbreeds  digging  ginseng  attend  to  the  arts  of  peace.  Every  man  and 
with  hoes.  In  fact,  the  Indian  scouts  on  the  boy,  who  was  not  carrying  a  gun  on  southern 
frontier  under  Major  Brown  and  Eose  never  battlefields,  was  carrying  one  at  home.  For 
permitted  the  dogs  a  smell  of  a  genuine  hostile  three  years  our  people  had  been  busy  either 
SiouX.  The  hounds  escaped  one  after  another  running  away  from  the  Indians  or  chasing 
and  soon  like  the  Indians  disappeared  from  after  them.  The  farm  and  the  shop  were  de- 
Blue  Earth  County.  serted  for  the  camp  and  the  fort.  The  people 
The  Jewett  murders  stirred  up  all  sorts  of  were  learning  war  and  not  trade  and  the  mus- 
measures  for  the  protection  of  the  settlers.  Besides  ket  had  taken  the  place  of  the  plow. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

EVENTS  IN  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY  FROM 

1865— PEACE  REIGNS,  WHEELS   OF 

PROGRESS  PUT  IN  MOTION. 


With  the  year   1866,   a  new  period  begins  in  W.    Barney    &    Co.,    and    the    Mankato    Linseed 

the  history   of   our  county.      Secession  and   sav-  Oil   Works,   by   Anthony   Phillips, 

agery   are   gone,   peace,    progress    and   prosperity  Two    railroads    started    this    year    in    earnest 

take  their  place.     The  sound  of  the  war  whoop,  towards   Mankato.     The   Minnesota  A^alley   Rail- 

of  fife  and  drum,  of  the  firing  of  guns,  of  mourn-  ,vay,  built  from  Mendota  to  Shakopee.     Its  first 

ing    for    the    slain    have    ceased,    the    sight    of  locomotive  was  named  "Mankato."     The  Winona 

mutilated  corpses,   fleeing  families,   of   marching  and  St.  Peter  Railway  built  as  far  as  Kasson. 

soldiers,  and  of  building  forts  have  disappeared,  Immigration   into   our   county   was   very   large 

and   new    sounds    and    scenes    take    their    place,  ^.j^jg    yg^j,_     During   June    and   July    alone   over 

It  is  to  these  new   sounds  and  scenes   that  the  g^gOO    acres    of    land    belonging    to'  the    Winne- 

eoncluding  chapters   of  this  history   will  be   de-  ^^^^   Agency   in   Blue    Earth    County   were    sold 

^oted.  ^^  tlje   St.    Peter  land   office. 

On  May  35,  1865  the  "Mankato  Union"  was  ^^^                 ^^^    returning    from    the    Civil 

sold  by  Charles  H.  Slocum  to  Wm.  B.  Griswold,  ^^^  ^^^  ^^^^^     ^^^^^     ^^  ^^  ^^  ^^^^  ^^^^^^^ 

who  until  recently  had  been  editor  of  the  Val-  ,                                  ,•              4.       j     i     i  ■         j; 

■'  homes,    came    crowding    westward,    looking    tor 

ley  Herald  at  Chaska.     He  was  a  man  of  fair  ,  .            n  -m       tti    j.i            j.           •     i  -j.      i_ 

.                    .  claims  and  Blue  Earth  county  received  its  share, 

abihty  as  a  writer,  but  not  brilliant  or  very  ener-  ^^    ^^^^^^    gg^^^    ^^^^    ^.^^^^^    ^^    ^^^^^^^^ 

getic  or  popular.     His  paper  was  on  the  whole  ,j-i,i.i         j.-          n-          f                  j. 

°              '^  '^                     '^  ^  tendered  to  the  returning  soldiers  of  our  county 

fully   as   good,   if   not   a   little   better,   than   the  ,  .              ,•           n  1,    1,             m,                   v,     + 

■'         o      >                                         J  ^  ^jg  reception  and  barbecue,     ihere  were  about 

average    country    newspaper.       In    neatness    of  ^^^^^    ^^^^j^    p^^^^^^    ^^^    g^^^^^^    Wilkinson 

pnnting    it    was   much    above    the    average,    for  ^^^    ^^^    ^^^^^^    ^^    ^^^   ^^^^^-^^^ 

Geo.  W.  Neff,  now  of  the  "Lake  Crystal  Union"  j^  ^^^  ^^  ^^  .^^^^^^^  ^^^^  ^^  ^^^  ^^^  ^^^. 

who  had  special  charge  of  this  department  was  ^^^   ^^   ^^^^.^^^   furnished    by   each   township    in 

a  printer  of  rare  excellence.  ^^^  ^^^^^^   f^,^   ^^^   (..^.j   ^^^^    ^^-^^   ^^^^    ^^ 

In  June  of  this   year   H.   C.   Capwell  &   Co.,  fQiiQ„g 
began  operating  their  flour  mill  at  Garden  City. 

Mr.   Hilton,    also   started,  his   flour   mill    at  the     Butternut    Valley    22 

Agency,  which  he  had  bought   the   year  before.     ^^^^^?°     ^^ 

The   same   month    Dr.    Lewis    and   Basil    More-     Rapidan,    Mankato,    McPherson 247 

land  began  operating  their  saw  mill  on  the  Cobb     garden   City    64 

°  r  a  Jamestown      18 

river.     The    same   summer    J.    S.    Burgess    and     Judson     31 

Co.,  built  a  saw  mill  on  the  east  line  of  Man-     LeEay     15 

kfflto  Township,   and  Mason  &  Reed  rebuilt  the     Medo 1 

old   mill    which    Col.    Smith    and    Haynes    had     |^^P],^*^°°     f^ 

erected  in  1857,  at  Vernon,  but  which  had  been  South     Bend..........................!...........  44 

burnt  in  May  of  this  year.  Sterling     43 

.,,,,•',,  ■    3      .■  J.     .  ,  Vernon     Center 48 

At    Mankato    two    industries    of    importance  

are  started  namely:   The  Novelty  works,  by  C.        Total     7ar 

159 


160 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAKTH  COUNTY. 


The  crops  all  over  the  county  were  quite  good 
this  year  except  in  Butternut  Valley  and  vicin- 
ity, where  the  grasshoppers  swept  everything 
before   them. 

On  Sept.  6,  1865,  Town  105,  range  29,  which 
had  heretofore  been  attached  to  Shelby,  and  had 
been  known  first  as  Otsego,  and  afterwards  as 
Willow  Creek,  was  created  into  a  new  town 
christened  "Pleasant  Mound,"  and  the  first  town 
meeting  was  held  at  the  house  of  H.  G.  Long- 
worth.  On  the  same  6th  day  of  September,  town 
107,  range  29,  which  had  heretofore  been 
attached  to  Ceresco  and  known  as  Fox  Lake, 
was  by  the  county  board  made  into  a  new  town 
under  the  name  of  Lincoln,  the  first  town  meet- 
ing being  held  at  the  home  of  John  W.  Trask. 

On  Sept.  7th  the  County  Commissioners  elect- 
ed E.  D.  B.  Porter  as  Superintendent  of  the 
country  schools  for  the  year  commencing  Jan. 
1,  1866.  On  the  same  date  (Sept.  7th)  the 
new  Presbyterian  church  at  Mankato  was  dedi- 
.  cated. 

At  the  fall  election  this  year  the'  main  inter- 
est centered  about  the  fight  between  Col.  B.  P. 
Smith  and  Eobert  Eoberts  for  the  office  of 
Eegister  of  Deeds.  Both  had  been  candidates 
before  the  Eepublican  County  convention,  but 
Col.  Smith  had  finally  won  after  a  very  bitter 
fight.  Mr.  Eoberts  and  his  friends  had  their 
Welsh  blood  up  and  refused  to  abide  by  the 
decision  of  their  party.  He  sought  and  obtained 
the  Democratic  nomination  for  the  office  and 
there  was  another  hot  fight.  The  Welsh  were 
Eepublicans  almost  to  a  man,  but  the  most  of 
them  bolted  their  county  ticket  this  fall  and 
the  Democratic  party,  though  in  the  minority, 
was  able  to  elect  a  number  of  its  candidates  for 
county  offices,  but  Col.  Smith  because  of  his 
^.eat  popularity  came  out  victorious  by  a  small 
majority. 

In  October  1865,  the  postal  money  order  sys- 
tem was  first  inaugurated  in  Blue  Earth  County 
at  Mankato.  On  Dec.  11th  and  12th,  1865 
occurred  a  severe  blizzard  in  which  Thos.  Lame- 
raux,  an  old  settler  of  South  Bend,  and  sev- 
eral others  lost  their  lives  on  the  western  prai- 
rie. There  was  deep  snow  and  much  cold 
weather  all  winter,  and  many  people  froze  to 
death,  but  not  in  Blue  Earth  County. 


In  January,  1866,  the  weekly  mail  service 
from  Mankato  to  Few  Ulm  was  increased  to  a 
tri-weekly,  for  which  Lewis  D.  Lewis  was  con- 
tractor. There  had  been  for  a  long  time  a  tri- 
weekly mail  to  South  Bend,  Garden  City,  Ver- 
non and  Shelbyville,  a  weekly  mail  to  Mapleton, 
Sterling  and  Liberty,  also,  to  Cobb  Eiver, 
Watonwan,  Willow  Creek  and  Pleasant  Mound. 
There  were,  also,  two  daily  mails  to  Mankato; 
one  from  St.  Paul  and  the  other  from  Winona 
by  way  of  Winnebago  Agency. 

In  December,  1865,  James  P.  Gail  laid  out 
the  townsite  of  Lowell  upon  the  Blue  Earth 
Eiver,  in  section  thirteen  of  Garden  City  town- 
ship. Mr.  Dustin  during  the  winter  built  a 
large  flour  mill  at  this  point,  which  was  oper- 
ated for  several  years.  Nothing  further  came  of 
the  townsite.  Geo.  Marsh,  also,  completed  a 
flour  mill  at  Shelbyville. 

During  the  spring  and  summer  the  Eed  Jacket 
mill  was  erected  on  the  Le  Sueur  by  Har- 
rington •  and  Scott,  and  soon  became  one  of  the 
most  noted  flour  mills  in  the  county.  The  same 
season  Hegele  &  Henline  added  a  grist  mill 
department  to  their  steam  saw  mill  in  Man- 
kato, and  the  old  stone  windmill  was  built  and 
operated  by  Phillip  Touner  in  South  Bend. 
These  mills  as  a  rule  gave  about  thirty  pounds 
of  flour,  five  pounds  of  shorts,  and  eight  pounds 
of  bran  for  a  bushel  of  wheat. 

On  March  13th,  1866,  town  106,  range  26, 
which  heretofore  had  been  called  Winneshiek, 
was  organized  under  the  names  of  Beauford 
on  petition  of  Chas.  MacBeth  and  twenty-six 
others.  The  first  town  meeting  was  appointed 
to  be  held  at  the  house  of  John  Prey.  On  May 
29th  the  town  of  Lyra  was  created  on  petition 
of  M.  L.  Plumb  and  twenty-six  others,  the  first 
town  meeting  to  be  at  the  house  of  L.  Schroeder 
on  the  first  Tuesday  in  July,  but  which  was 
not  held  until   September  22nd  following. 

A  big  freshet  early  in  April  carried  away  a 
number  of  bridges  and  mill  dams  over  the 
county,  as  was  usual  when  there  was  deep  snow 
the  previous  winter.  The  wooden  bridges  and  dams 
of  those  early  days  could  not  stand  much  of 
a  flood. 

On  April  7,  1866  the  matter  of  the  perma- 
nent   location    of    its    fair    grounds    was    deter- 


HISTORY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


161 


mined  by  the  Blue  Earth  Cmmty  Fair  Asso- 
ciation in  favor  of  Garden  City.  Mankato  made 
a  strong  bid  for  it  and  offered  a  bonus  of 
$1,174;  while  all  Garden  City  could  raise  as 
bonus  was  $818,  but  a  twenty  acre  site  could 
be  bought  at  Garden  City  for  $550  wiiile  the 
same  quantity  of  land  at  Mankato  cost  $1,000. 
About  the  1st  of  May,  1866  President  Johnson 
remitted  the  sentences  of  death  in  the  case  of 
the  173  Sioux  Indians,  who  were  yet  alive  at 
Davenport  prison  and  they  were  turned  over  to 
the  care  of  the  Sioux  Agency  in  Nebraska. 

On  the  31st  of  May  General  W.  T.  Sherman 
arrived  at  Madelia  on  his  way  to  Ft.  Eidgely 
and  an  effort  was  made  to  have  him  visit  Man- 
kato but  he  was  unable  to  do  so. 

The  buffalo  gnats  were  a  plague  in  the  land 
this  year  and  some  young  stock  were  killed  by 
them. 

The  Legislature  in  the  session  of  1865  had 
authorized  Mankato  to  issue  $10,000  and  Gar- 
den City  $3,000  in  bonds  for  the  building  of 
school  houses  in  their  respective  districts,  which 
bonds  were  voted  and  contracts  let  for  the  build- 
ings in  the  summer  of  1866. 

Boardman  and  Wampler  had  the  contract 
for  the  Mankato  building,  which  is  the  original 
part  of  the  present  Union  building.  Until  this 
structure  was  completed  our  county  seat  had  no 
public  school  building,  except  the  little  log  struc- 
ture of  1855,  which  had  long  been  too  small  and 
dilapidated  for  use.  So  the  school  had  been  kept 
in  halls,  vacant  stores,  and  any  old  place  that 
could  be  got.  The  Garden  City  school  house 
was  built  at  a  cost  of  $4,000.00. 

The  Legislature  of  1866,  through  the  efforts 
of  Daniel  Buck,  then  State  Senator  from  our 
county,  passed  an  act  locating  the  second  state 
Formal  school  at  Mankato,  on  condition  that  the 
village  raised  $5,000.00  as  a  bonus  to  be  used 
in  purchasing  of  a  site  and  otherwise.  On 
September  14th,  1866,  a  mass  meeting  met  at 
the  city  hall  in  Mankato  to  devise  means  for 
raising  the  money,  and  a  soliciting  committee 
w-as  appointed  as  follows:  John  J.  Shaubut, 
John  F.  Meagher,  H.  Dubuison,  J.  Wm.  Hoerr, 
David  Wilcox,  E.  D.  B.  Porter,  John  E.  Beatty, 
James  Shoemaker,  E.  J.  Marvin,  John  F.  Hall, 
Eev.  J.  E.  Conrad,  and  Daniel  Buck. 


At  Manliato  the  M.  E.,  Baptist,  Episcopal, 
and  one  or  two  other  denominations  built  church 
buildings,  this  year.  Mead  and  Lovejoy,  who 
had  been  manufacturing  cement  brick  at  Gar- 
den City,  started  the  same  industry  at  Man- 
kato, but  only  made  enough  for  the  residence 
of  Judge   James   Brown. 

Navigation  was  good  for  a  short  period  in  the 
spring,  and  then  the  river  became  too  low  for 
any  but  flat  boats.  Among  the  boats  engaged 
in  the  trade  of  our  county  this  year  were: 
The  Chippeway  Falls,  Mollie  Mohler,  Julia, 
Otter,  Stella  Whipple,  Albany,  Pioneer,  Pearl, 
Cutter,  Enterprise,  Mankato,  Hudson  and.  Flora. 
J\  corps  of  United  States  engineers,  under  Capt. 
Davis,  were  employed  this  year  in  making  sur- 
veys of  the  Minnesota  river,  with  reference  to 
its  improvement.  It  demonstrated  among  other 
things  that  in  the  distance  from  the  mouth 
of  the  Yellow  Medicine  to  mouth  of  the  Blue 
Earth  river  a  distance  of  seventy  miles,  the 
fall  was  twenty-eight  feet.  A  survey  of  the 
Blue  Earth  showed  an  average  fall  of  five  feet 
to  the  mile. 

Progress  was  made  this  year  towards  road 
improvements  in  the  vicinity  of  Mankato. 
Through  the  efforts  of  James  Shoemaker  the 
Glenwood  ravine  road  was  laid  out  and  several 
hundred  of  dollars  subscribed  and  expended 
in  its  improvement.  Seven  hundred  and  fifty 
dollars  was  expended  in  grading  the  Belgrade 
hill.  The  road  up  the  Thompson  ravine  was, 
also,  opened  and  graded. 

The  year  1866,  closed  with  a  very  belligerent 
feeling  between  Mankato  and  New  Ulm,  caused 
by  the  lynching  on  December  86th  in  rather  a 
barbarous  fashion  of  two  Mankato  citizens  by 
a  mob  at  New  Ulm.  The  victims  were  Campbell 
and  Liscom,  two  trappers,  who  in  a  saloon  row 
killed  a  prominent  resident  of  New  Ulm.  An 
excited  mob  soon  gathered  and  took  both  men 
from  the  Jail,  hung  them  and  threw  their  bodies 
into  the  river,  through  a  hole  in  the  ice.  For 
a  few  days  the  mob  had  full  control  of  the  usu- 
ally quiet  German  town  and  defied  arrest,  and 
things  looked  warlike.  A  number  of  deter- 
mined men  under  Capt.  L.  N.  Holmes  of  Man- 
kato and  the  sheriff  finally  went  to  New  Ulm 
and  found  and  brought  away  the  bodies  of  the 


162 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


two  men  and  obtained  such,  evidence  as  could 
be  got  regarding  the  affair.  Arrests  were  made 
and  the  trials  dragged  in  the  courts  for  some  years. 
One  John  Gut  was  convicted  and  sentenced  to 
be  hung,  but,  after  a  long  legal  battle,  his 
sentence  was  commuted  to  imprisonment.  The 
other  ring  leaders  defaulted  their  bail  and  left 
the  country. 

With  the  first  of  January,  1867,  let  us  take 
a  birdseye  view  of  the  county,  as  it  appeared 
to  two  eye  witnesses  at  the  time.  First  comes 
Mankato  with  a  population  of  about  3,300.  It 
had  about  305  frame,  twenty-two  brick,  and 
four  stone  dwellings,  fifteen  dry  goods  stores, 
fifteen  grocery  stores,  three  hardware  stores, 
five  harness  shops,  four  jewelry  stores,  two  bak- 
eries, two  printing  offices,  twenty-two  restau- 
rants, eight  cabinet  shops,  two  chair  shops,  four 
^''agon  shops,  four  carriage  shops,  eight  black- 
smith shops,  two  paint  shops,  two  millinery 
shops,  four  cooper  shops,  one  gun  shop,  two  bar- 
ber shops,  three  grist  mills,  three  saw  mills,  one 
fanning  mill  factory,  one  pump  factory,  two 
turning  mills,  one  oil  mill,  four  livery  barns,  two 
photograph  galleries,  five  schools,  two  banks,  six 
boot  and  shoe  stores,  ten  doctors,  seven  law 
offices,  five  insurance  offices,  three  drug  stores, 
one  bookstore,  four  butcher  shops,  eight  hotels, 
one  express  office,  twelve  warehouses,  one  fire 
engine  house,  one  hook  and  ladder  company,  one 
hose  house,  six  churches,  one  pottery,  one  foun- 
dry, one  barrel  factory,  one  brewery,  four  brick 
yards,  two  lime  kilns  and  one  stone  quarry. 

One  thousand  one  hundred  and  fifty  tons  of 
freight  had  been  received  during  the  year  1866, 
and  4,700  tons  exported.  J.  J.  Thompson  &  Co. 
had  a  line  of  teams  carrying  every  day  to  and  from 
the  railroad  terminals.  One  hundred  ninety-three 
reapers  and  mowers  and  nineteen  threshers  were 
sold  at  Mankato  during  the  year.  The  fur 
trade  footed  up  to  over  $15,000.00  and  the  mer- 
cantile trade  to  over  $600,000.00.  There  were 
three  daily  mails,  one  to  St.  Paul,  one  to  Winona 
and  one  to  Blue  Earth  City,  one  tri-weekly  mail 
to  "New  Ulm  and  one  semi-weekly  to  Madelia. 
The  lower  story  of  the  Union  School  building 
had  been  completed,  five  teachers  were  employed, 
and  about  300  pupils  attended  the  public  schools. 
The    Catholic   school,    in    charge   of  the    Sisters 


of  ISTotre  Dam,  had  four  teachers  and  about 
180  pupils,  and  there  were  a  number  of  private 
schools.  Mankato  Township  had  a  large  grist 
mill  at  Eed  Jacket,  on  the  Le  Sueur,  and  three 
sawmills,  one  at  Hoosier  Lake,  one  at  Tivoli 
and  one  owned  by  Burgess  &  Co.  South  Bend 
village  had  five  general  stores,  two  hotels,  one 
?aw  and  grist  mill  combined,  one  saw  mill, 
one  shoemaker,  one  blacksmith,  and  one  cooper 
shop.  There  were  two  church  buildings  in  the 
village  and  another  in  the  township. 

At  Garden  City  village  were:  Garden  City 
Mills,  Harrington  and  Loveland  proprietors,  ca- 
pacity 450  bushels  of  wheat  per  day,  new  ware- 
house, which  will  hold  15,000  bushels,  the  Yan- 
kee  mills,  Quayle  &  Friend  proprietors,  250 
bushels'  capacity,  a  planing  mill,  shingle  mill  and 
saw  mill  attached,  one  steam  saw  mill,  owned 
by  L.  E.  Potter  &  Bros.,  with  capacity  of  10,000 
feet  of  lumber  per  day,  three  general  stores,  one 
drug  store,  one  hotel,  one  real  estate  office,  one 
millinery,  one  harness  shop,  one  shoe  shop,  two 
wagon  shops,  two  blacksmith  shops,  one  cooper 
shop,  one  livery  stable,  four  doctors,  one  dentist, 
a  public  school  with  150  scholars,  and  Baptist, 
Presbyterian  and  M.  E.  Churches  holding  regu- 
lar services. 

Watonwan  in  the  same  township  had  the  But- 
terfield  Mills,  and  New  Lowell  had  the  Dustin 
Mill,  with  capacity  of  350  bushels  of  wheat  per 
day,  a  carding  mill  was  also  attached.  Vernon 
contained  a  steam  mill,  hotel,  church  and  three 
stores.  Shelbyville,  had  a  hotel,  saw  mill,  three 
stores,  church  and  blacksmith  shop.  Shelby. 
Center  had  a  mill  and  a  store.  Sterling  Town- 
ship had  one  store  and  two  mills,  a  church  and 
five  school  houses.  Mapleton  had  three  school 
houses,  a  store  kept  by  Eobert  Taylor,  and  a  Free 
Will  Baptist  church  organization.  Lyra  had 
one  saw  mill  in  operation  and  two  other  mills 
being  built.  Eapidan  contained  the  large  new 
flour  mill  of  S.  Kenworthy  &  Co.,  the  saw 
mill  of  Eew  &  Heaton,  and  Lucius  Dyer  was 
building  a  saw  mill  on  the  Maple  and,  also, 
Simons  &  Mickle.  -Judson  had  two  stores,  the  Good- 
year nursery  and  a  church.  Butternut  Valley  con- 
tained a  hotel,  a  church  building  and  two  church 
organizations,  and  two  school  houses.  Hilton, 
(now     St.     Clair)     had    three    stores,    a   hotel, 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


163 


a  saw  and  grist  mill  and  a  blaeksinith  shop.  Ad- 
joining it  was  Winnebago  Agency,  where  the 
agenfs  house  had  been  converted  into  a  hotel 
by  J.  C.  Truman,  and  Henry  Poster  had  a  large 
store  and  postoffice.  McPherson  Township  had 
another  sawmill.  Every  town  in  the  county 
had  school  houses  and  was  dotted  over  with 
farm  houses,  of  which  the  great  majority  were 
log  buildings.  Everywhere  during  the  summer 
season  the  breaking  plow '  was  in  evidence  and 
the  vast  wheat  fields  were  growing  rapidly  larger 
every  year. 

The  winters  of  'this  period  were  long  and  cold 
and  the  log  houses  and  the  clothing  were  none  too 
warm.  Few  could  afford  fur  overcoats  or  over- 
shoes, or  an  extra  stove  in  the  house.  The 
shawls  and  Indian  blankets,  which  were  the 
fashion  with  the  men  in  the  antibellum  win- 
ters had  given  place  to  the  blue  soldier  overcoats 
with  the  cape  and  brass  buttons  stamped  with 
the  hilarious  eagle. 

The  great  war  debt  was  heavy  on  the  people  and 
the  revenue  collector  was  abroad  in  the  land. 
Every  deed,  note,  mortgage,  contract  and  even 
match  box  and  broom  and  every  common  house- 
hold utensil  and  store  commodity  must  bear  the 
government  stamp.  The  lawyers,  doctors,  den- 
tists, etc.,  have  to  procure  licenses. 

Then  there  were  the  spelling  schools,  the  de- 
bating societies,  the  revival  meetings  and  the  go- 
ing to  the  post  office. 

The  winter  of  1866-7  was  very  severe  with 
much  snow,  and  there  was,  a  big  spring  freshet, 
with  the  usual  damage  to  bridges  and  dams, 
especially  on  the  Watonwan.  On  Fel).  12tb, 
1867,  the  Legislature  authorized  the  County 
Commissioners  of  our  county  to  issue  $10,000.00 
in  bonds  to  build  a  county  jail,  but  provided 
that  the  matter  of  the  location  of  the  jail  be 
submitted  the  voters  of  the  county  at  the  elec- 
tion to  be  held  April  2,  1867.  This  provision  was 
inserted  at  the  instigation  of  the  citizens  ot 
Garden  City,  •\\-ho  still  cherished  hopes  of  se- 
curing the  county  seat.  The  vote  resulted  in  1655 
votes  for  Manl^ato  and  783  for  Garden  City.  The 
contract  was  let  soon  thereafter  to  Lewis  J. 
Lewis  and  the  building  erected  during  the  sum- 
mer and   fall.   The  jail   part  was   of   stone   and 


the  sheriff's  rooms  and  courtroom  above  of 
brick. 

On  ilay  8th,  1867  the  town  of  Butternut 
^ 'alley  was  divided,  all  that  portion  located  in 
Township  109  being,  on  petition  of  Geo.  Owens 
and  forty-three  others,  created  into  a  new  town, 
under  the  name  of  Cambria.  The  first  town 
meeting  was  held  as  appointed  on  June  3rd, 
1867,  at  school  house  in  district  Wo.  11. 

The  matter  of  hop  culture  received  consider- 
able attention  this  ^^ear  and  yards  were  plant- 
ed by  Shoemaker  and  Shepard  and  Andrew 
Hanna  in  West  Mankato,  and  by  parties  in 
South  Bend  and  Eapidan. 

A  bill  v.'as  passed  by  the  Legislature  in  March 
appropriating  $150,000.00  for  the  erection  of 
three  Normal  school  buildings,  one  of  which  to 
be  at  Mankato,  but  it  was  vetoed  by  Gov.  Mar- 
shall and  the  Mankato  normal  building  had  to 
be  postponed. 

A  number  of  new  school  districts  were  cre- 
ated this  year  in  the  new  towns  on  the  Winne- 
bago Agency.  On  July  13th,  1867,  several 
thousand  acres  of  the  Winnebago  lands  were  sold 
mostly  to  speculators  for  bids  ranging  from 
$7.00   to   $7.25   per  acre. 

About  July  1,  1867,  a  raft  of  50,000  feet 
of  saw  logs  were  floated  from  Lake  Elysian 
through  its  outlet  into  the  Le  Sueur  river.  At 
the  present  village  of  St.  Clair  a  number  of 
tlie  logs  got  stuck  and  were  sold  to  the  mills 
there.  Most  of  the  black  walnuts  were  taken 
through.  The  navigation  of  the  Minnesota  was 
quite  good  this  year.  The  Mollie  Mohlcr  alone 
made  over  90  trips  to  Mankato.  The  other  boats 
employed  were  the  Chippeway  Palls,  Mankato, 
Jennette  Eoberts,  Julia,  Ariel,  G.  B.  Knapp,  St. 
Anthony  Palls,  Tiber,  Flora,  Clipper  and  Hud- 
son. On  May  the  10th,  1867,  the  JuHa  struck 
a  snag  about  two  miles  below  Mankato  and 
sank.  John  H.  Barr  and  his  two  sons,  George 
T.  and  John  H.,  were  among  the  passengers  at 
the  time.  They  were  moving  with  their  house- 
hold goods  to  Mankato.  None  of  the  passengers 
were  injured,  but  a  lot  of  merchandise  and  goods 
■\vere  more  or  less  damaged.  All  efforts  to  raise 
the  boat  failed  and  she  was  dismantled  and 
her  hull  still  lies  in  the  sands  of  the  river. 

On  June  9th,  after  a  heavy  rain,  the  Mollie 


164  HISTOEY  OP  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 

Mohler    ascended    the   Blue   Earth    and    the   Le  years.     The  winter  of  1867-8  was  another  cold 

Sneur  to  the  Eed  Jacket  Mill,  which  stood  Just  winter  with  abundance  of  snow, 
below    the    present    bridge    of    the    Milwaukee         Heretofore    Mankato    had    been    divided    into 

railway,  and  carried  away  a  load  of  flour.  two  school  districts,  but  the  Legislature  of  this 

During    this    summer    Jacob    Bierbauer    built  winter  merged  the  two  districts  and  created  the 

at    Mankato    a    large    there    story    woolen    mill,  united    districts    into    an   independent   one.      At 

which  was  operated  for  some  years.  the  beginning  of  1868  the  total  capacity  of  the 

The  last  of  May,  1867,  Edwin  Howe  and  his  grist  mills  of  the  county  was  3,000  bushels  of 

brother   of   West   Mankato   started   a   dairy    and  wheat  per  day,  or  600,000   bushels  per  annum, 

his  milk  wagon  was  the  first  seen  on  the  streets  The    capacity    of   the  'saw   mills   of   the   county 

of  Mankato  or  in  Blue  Earth  County.     During  was    50,000    feet    per    day    or    15,000,000    per 

this    year    the    German    Lutherans    of    Mankato  annum.      The   live   stock   statistics    for    a  period 

built  a  frame  church,  the  first  church  building  covering  seven  or  eight  years  were  as  follows: 

of  that  denomination  in  the  county.     The  sum-  Year.  Horses.  Cattle.  Sheep.  Hogs. 

mer  of   1867   saw   Goist   and  Heintzelman  from  1860    182        960      100        612 

,,,.,   •        ,      ,     ,1  e     ,  jt  J.    I,  •  1  1862     995      6,258     1,293      3,027 

Illinois    start  the  manufacture   ol    cement   brick  jgg^  j^g82     7^053    3,376     2,040 

at  Garden  City,  but  they  did  not  continue  long.  1866    '.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'. 2',714     8',227  lo',383     3',421 

,       ^       ''  ...  ,n  1867     3,380      8,89310,126      4,195 

One   A.    J.    Manley    started   a   newspaper-  there  jggg     3g92     9^835    8,060     3,357 

called    the    "Garden    City    Hetald,"    which    tar- 
ried a  little  longer.  There   had    been    166    boat    arrivals    by    mid- 

On    September   19th,    1867,   the   last   town   in  s^^^nmer    and    there    were    many    arrivals    there- 

our   county   was    created    by   the    County    Com-  atter. 

missioners,     on     petition     of    Joshua    Ady    and         This    year    the    county    had    twenty-one    post- 
others,    and    called    Decoria,    after   three   Winne-  o^i^es   named   as   follows: 

bago  chiefs  of  that  name.     The  first  town  meet-  Beauford.  Tivoli. 

in  ,,  T    rn        ^        •      /-v  i.  i.  Garden    City.  Crisp's    Store, 

mg  was  held  on  the  second  Tuesday  m  October  judson.  Iceland. 

at  the  house  of  John  Larkin.  Mankato.  Liberty. 

This  fall  the  main  political  fight  in  the  Ee-  gherman.      '  Shelbyville. 

publican   convention  was   for  the  office   of  sheriff  Butternut  Valley.  Vernon    Center. 

,    .  T,         rn  1       1     T    1    n    J.1  -x-  Garden   Prairie.  ^Vatonwan. 

between  Dan  Tyner,  who  had  held  the  position  f^^^^  Lake.  Willow  Creek. 

for   some   years,   and   Evan  Bowen.     The  latter  Mapleton.  Winnebago  Agency. 

carried   the    day  by    one   vote    and    was   elected  '"  ^'^  ™^' 

on  the  5th  of  November.  On  March  24,  1868,  the  city  charter  of  Man- 
In  November  of  this  year  two  new  post-  kato,  which  had  been  granted  by  the  Legisla- 
ofEices  were  created,  one  called  "Loon  Lake,"  ture  about  a  month  previous,  was  adopted  by  a 
situated  in  Garden  City  town,  with  Mrs.  E;  vote  of  315  to  31.  James  A.  Wiswell  was 
Oookson  as  postmistress,  and  the  other  called  elected  mayor  of  the  new  city,  Jacob  Pfaff, 
"Iceland,"  located  in  Lincoln  township,  with  Treasurer;  E.  D.  B.  Porter,  Eecorder;  J.  Wm. 
David  Quinn  as  postmaster.  On  November  30,  Hoerr  and  Wm.  B.  Torrey,  Justices,  and  the 
1867,  the  county  purchased  of  Columbus  Bal-  city  government  went  into  effect  on  March 
lard   its   present   Poor   Farm,   consisting   of   160  31st,    1868. 

acres    in    section    one    of    Eapidan.      The    price         In    March,    Hiram   Yates,   who   had   been  ap- 

paid    was   $3,300.00    and    the    special    committee  pointed    the    first    superintendent    of    the    new 

of   the   County   Board   who   had   charge   of   the  county  poor  farm,  took  possession  of  the  same, 

purchase    were:      Hanna,    Evans,    and    Brown.  taking  with  him  the  few  poor  people  who  were 

About     Christmas,     1867,     the    Eolsom     Mill,  a    county    charge.      The   farm   was   then   located 

about    two    miles    below    Garden    City    on    the  in  the  midst   of   a  big   forest   and   in  one  week 

Watonwan,  was  completed  and  began  operation,  nine    or    ten    deer    were    killed    in    its    vicinity. 

It    enjoyed    quite    a    custom    trade    for    some  But    after    the    woods    were    cleared    no    better 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


165 


farmng  land  could  be  found  anywhere.  Navi- 
gation was  fairly  good  again  this  year,  and 
the  same  boats  were  engaged  as  the  previous 
season  for  the  most  part.  As  many  as  five 
steamboats  a  day  sometimes  arrived  at  the  Man- 
kato  levee. 

On  May  4th,  1868,  the  First  National  Bank 
of  Mankato  was  organized  by  James  B.  Hub- 
bard, Stephen  Lamm,  A.  C.  Woolfolk,  J.  F. 
Meagher,  J.  B.  Murphy,  J.  A.  Willard,  L.  C. 
Harrington,  Daniel  Buck,  J.  T.  Williams,  J. 
J.  Shaubut,  J.  M.  Thomson,  J.  A.  James,  A. 
T.  Lindhohn  and  John  N.  Hall.  Mr.  Hall 
was  made  its  first  cashier.  It  was  the  first 
institution  of  the  kind  in  the  county.  One  or 
two  private  banks  and  state  banks  had  existed 
before,  but  they  were  rather  small.  In  fact, 
the  people  had  had  no  special  need  of  banks 
in  those  early  days,  for  there  was  not  much 
money.  The  new  bank  began  business  about 
September  12th.  On  September  11,  1868,  a 
Board  of  Trade  was  organized  by  forty-three 
business  men  of  Mankato,  at  the  office  of  Payne 
and  Hoerr.  John  H.  Barr  became  its  first 
president. 

The  Minnesota  Valley  Eailroad  and  the  Wi- 
nona and  St.  Peter  Eailroad  had  been  getting 
nearer  every  year  to  Mankato.  The  Valley 
road  made  a  proposition  to  complete  its  rail- 
way into  Mankato  by  December  1st,  if  a  bonus 
of  $15,000.00  in  bonds,  a  right  of  way  over 
4th  street  and  depot  grounds  between  Plum 
and  Elm  streets  were  given  it.  The  proposition 
was  voted  upon  by  the  city  on  June  3rd  and 
carried  by  a  vote  of  423  for  to   142  against. 

In  June,  1868,  two  new  postofEices  were 
created  in  Blue  Earth  County,  one  located  on 
northwest  quarter  of  section  28  in  Decoria, 
designated  "Decoria,"  and  the  other  situated 
on  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  13,  Beau- 
ford,    called    "Perch    Lake." 

In  July  of  this  year  we  hear  of  the  first  old 
settlers'  meeting  in  the  county.  It  met  at 
the  residence  of  John  S.  Hinckley  in  Mankato, 
and  an  Old  Settlers'  Association  organized, 
with  Mr.  Hinckley  as  President,  membership 
to  which  was  eligible  to  only  those  who  came 
to  the  county  in  1854  or  prior  years. 


This  year  (1868)  Miaer  Porter  greatly  im- 
proved and  beautified  the  grounds  about  his 
summer  hotel  near  South  Bend  by  planting 
groves,  arbors  and  fiowers  and  building  swings, 
walks,  fancy  gates  and  fences,  and  the  place 
was    designated    "Minneineopa    Park." 

For  two  or  three  years  the  Colorado  beetle 
had  been  doing  more  and  more  damage  each 
year  to  the  potato  crop.  This  year  it  was  par- 
ticularly bad.  As  yet  the  people  had  not  dis- 
covered  the   best    means   for   its    destruction. 

On  October  7th,  1868,  the  first  term  of  the 
Mankato  Normal  school  opened  in  the  base- 
ment of  the  il.  E.  Church  at  Mankato.  The 
opening  day  proved  stormy  and  only  twenty- 
seven  scholars  were  present.  The  second  day 
thirty-five  were  enrolled.  On  October  36,  the 
school  was  removed  to  the  second  story  of  the 
new  brick  store  building  of  John  J.  Shaubut 
on  the  corner  of  Front  and  Main  Streets.  These 
quarters  were  100  feet  long  by  twenty-two  feet 
wide,  and  divided  into  four  rooms.  There 
were  forty  school  desks,  fifty-two  scholars  en- 
rolled in  the  Normal  department  and  sixteen  in 
the  Model.  By  the  close  of  the  first  term  there 
were  ninety  enrolled  in  both  departments. 
Prof.  G.  M.  Gage  was  its  first  president  and 
Miss  Susie  Dyer  (now  Mrs.  L.  G.  M.  Fletcher) 
as  first  assistant.  The  second  term  opened  at 
the  same  place  with  fifty-five  pupils  in  the 
Normal  department  and  twenty-four  in  Model 
department.  Miss  Emma  H.  Collins  was  added 
to  the  faculty  as  second  assistant.  The  Legis- 
lature of  18G9  appropriated  $30,000.00  for 
a  Normal  school  building,  and  the  corner  stone 
was  laid  on  June  19th,  1868,  with  appropriate 
Masonic  rites  by  S.  F.  Barney,  and  an  address 
by  President  Gage.  The  building  and  furnish- 
ings cost  over  $50,000.00  and  an  additional 
appropriation  was  made  by  the  Legislature. 
The  building  was  of  brick,  126  by  116  feet, 
three  stories  high  above  basement,  and  embell- 
ished with  two  towers  120  feet  high.  It  con- 
tained sixteen  rooms.  The  architect  was  W.  P. 
Boardman;  contractor,  Lewis  J.  Lewis;  build- 
ing committee:  Daniel  Buck  (member  of  State 
Normal  Board),  James  Brown  and  L.  C.  Har- 
rington. On  September  7th,  1870,  the  new 
building    began    to    be    occupied    and    in    April, 


166 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  BAETH  COUNTY. 


1871,  it  was  fully .  completed.  The  faculty  in 
tlie  fall  of  1870  was: 

President,   Geo.   M.   Gage. 

Teacher  of  Language  and  Literature,  Miss 
Susie  M.  Dyer. 

Mathematics,  Geography  and  History,  Miss 
Jennie  M.  Hayden. 

IVLusic,  fc).  M.  Weigel. 

Gymnastics,  Miss  Calista  Andrews. 

Grammer  and  Model,  Geo.  A.  Eerguson. 

Principle  Intermediate  Dept.,  Miss  A.  Ella 
Clark. 

Principal  Primary  (School,  Miss  Annie  Y. 
Whittier. 

The  number  of  JSTormal  students  were  136, 
of  whom  38  were  males  and  98  females.  The 
first  graduating  class  in  1870  had  ten  members. 
In  1871,  the  INormal  department  had  198  pupils 
and  the  Model  department  174,  making  a  total 
O'i  372.  The  graduating  class  of  June  1873, 
numbered  23. 

On  October  3,  1868  the  Valley  Railroad 
(now  called  Chicago,  St.  Paul,  Minneapolis 
and  Omaha)  was  completed  to  Mankato  and 
the  first  train  arrived.  The  first  freight  was 
shipped  over  it  on  October  8th  and  consisted 
of  200  barrels  of  flour  from  the  Red  Jacket 
mills.  The  regular  passenger  trains  began  run- 
ning on  October  12,  1868,  and  the  fare  to  St. 
Paul  was  $4.00.  On  October  29,  the  advent  of 
the  railway  was  duly  celebrated  at  Mankato,  by 
the  citizens  of  that  town  and  of  the  county 
generally.  A  banquet  and  an  excursion  to  St. 
I'aul  were  the  two  principal  features.  For 
many  years  the  people  of  Blue  Earth  County 
had  longed  for  a  railroad.  The  uncertainty 
of  river  navigation  and  its  short  duration  made 
it  impossible  for  the  boats  to  handle  the  rapidly 
growing  traffic.  It  was  a  great  day  for  both 
city  and  county.  The  days  of  their  isolation 
were  past,  their  problem  of  transportation  was 
solved,  henceforth  they  were  a  living  part  of 
the  great  commercial  world.  ISTo  wonder  they 
rejoiced.  With  the  railroad  came,  also,  the 
telegraph  and,  by  October  17,  1868,  the  North- 
western Telegraph  company  had  its  lines  com- 
pleted and  sent  its  first  messages  to  and  from 
Mankato,  and  our  county  seat  was  at  last  con- 


nected with  the  great  civilized  world  by  both 
rail  and  wire. 

In  November,  1868,  Mr.  Wise  sold  the  "Man- 
kato Weekly  Record"  to  Orville  Brown  and 
J.  T.  Williams.  For  many  years  Mr.  Williams 
was  the  principal  politician  of  the  county.  Some 
called  him  the  '"Political  boss."  He  was  very 
active,  energetic  and  shrewd  and  knew  every 
person  in  the  county  and  knew  how  to  reach 
men  in  a  political  way.  He  was  a  strong  Repub- 
lican and  an  ardent  admirer  of  Senator  Wm. 
Windom.  For  some  reason  or  other  Mr.  Gris- 
wold  of  the  Union  had  fallen  out  with  Senator 
Windom  and  his  friend  Williams.  It  was  neces- 
sary that  Mr.  Windom  should  have  a  political 
organ  in  Blue  Earth  County;  Williams,  there- 
fore, negotiated  for  Windom  the  purchase  of 
the  Record.  He  then  got  0.  Brown,  who  was 
running  the  Faribault  Republican,  to  dispose 
of  that  paper  and'  come  to  Mankato  to  take 
charge  of  the  Record,  which  was  changed  from 
a  Democratic  to  Republican  paper.  Mr.  Wil- 
liams was  quick  tempered  and  when  he  had 
quarreled  with  a  person  he  wanted  that  person 
to  know  it.  Mr.  Brown  was  a  man  after  Wil- 
liams own  heart  for  he  had  a  special  gift  in 
the  way  of  heaping  coals  of  fire  on  an  enemy's 
head,  and  keeping  those  coals  good  and  hot.  He 
was  naturally  an  able  and  forcible  writer  on 
any  topic,  but  in  invective  he  was  an  expert, 
and  his  paper  was  always  well  spiced  and  gin- 
gered. With  the  last  issue  in  November,  Mr. 
Wise's  connection  with  the  Record  ceased,  and 
with  the  first  issue  in  December  the  paper,  which 
had  been  born  and  bred  in  pure  Democracy, 
suddenly,  under  a  new  master  was  converted 
into  a  radical  Republican.  So  abrupt  was  the 
transaction  that  some  of  the  staid  Democratic 
subscribers  of  the  good  old  Bourbon  variety,  had 
to  pinch  themselves  and  feel  of  their  pulses  to 
make  sure  thej  were  not  having  a  night-mare 
or  something  worse. 

The  County  by  this  time  had  been  making 
considerable  progress  along  educational  lines. 
In  1868  there  were  eighty-one  summer  schools 
taught  and  the  whole  number  of  scholars  was 
2077.  During  the  winter  of  1868-9  the  whole 
number  of  public  schools  was  68  and  the  num- 
ber of  scholars  attending  2093.     There  were  70 


HlSTOllY  Of  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


167 


teachers  employed,  45  of  them  males  and  25 
females.  Two  of  the  schools  were  graded, 
employing  two  teachers  each.  There  were  115 
organized  districts  in  the  county,  and  23  new 
school  houses  built  during  the  year,  at  an  aggre- 
gate cost  of  $10,712.13.  There  were  77  school 
houses,  one  of  brick,  one  of  stone,  thirty-four  of 
frame  and  forty-one  of  logs.  This  does  not 
include  Mankato  nor  the  private  and  parochial 
schools. 

Wheat  raising  was  now  getting  to  be  the 
principal  farm  industry.  In  January  about 
'j0,000  bushels  were  marketed  at  Mankato  alone. 
The  fact  was  that  Mankato  was  about  the  only 
market  point  for  wheat  in  the  county  or  even 
Southwestern  Minnesota,  being  the  head  of 
transportation.  Since  the  advent  of  the  Eail- 
way  in  October  1868  to  July  1,  1869,  there 
had  been  shipped  by  it  from  Mankato  335,341 
bushels  of  wheat  and  20,769  barrels  of  flour, 
equal  in  all  to  439,321  bushels.  It  was  an 
every  day  sight  in  those  days  to  see  a  line  of 
fifty  or  sixty  teams  waiting  their  turn  to  unload 
at  the  elevator.  The  assessors  reported  40,689 
acres  of  land  under  cultivation  in  Blue  Earth 
County  in  1868,  25,566  of  which  were  devoted 
to  wheat,  and  the  wheat  raised  in  the  county 
for  that  year  amounted  to  about  550,000  hush- 
els. 


Between    April    1,    1867,    and    April    1,    1869 
there  was  manufactured  at  Mankato: 

Farming     Mills 1,114 

Horse     rakes 172 

Plows      704 

Corn     cultivators 100 

During  the  same  period  there  were  imported 
and  sold  at  the  same  place: 

Reapers    and    mowers 428 

Seeders     443 

which  indicates  how  the  county  was  growing 
in  an  agricultural  way,  as  well  as  how  Mankato 
was  developing  as  a  manufacturing  center.  The 
wool  trade  of  Mankato  for  the  spring  of  1869, 
amounted  to  43,640  pounds.  Then  the  fur 
trade  still  continued  considerable  in  spite  of  the 
settling  of  the  county.  The  two  principal 
firms  at  Mankato  dealing  in  furs  at  this  time 
were,  Barkman,  Eeid  &  Kellog,  and  Marks  & 
Hollenbeck.  Between  March  1st  and  July  1st, 
1869,  these  firms  purchased  the  following  pelts: 

Muskrat      213,350 

Mink      1,205 

Otter      97 

Brown    and    red    fox 975 

Coon     600 

Badger      375 

Skunk      190 

Lynx      25 

The  total  value  of  all  furs  marketed  at  Man- 
kato  in  those   four  months   was    about   $88,800. 


crtTHoi-ic  c^^^JRo»-*-GooE>TMUN^e'^ 


ef»lSCO*»Al-     CHU»=^CH  ~    <SOOI>rHL>A)C>eR 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

EVENTS  OP  EARLY  SEVENTIES— WELLS 

AND  WINONA  RAILWAYS  REACH 

MANKATO. 


Showing  somewhat  the  extent  of  the  immi- 
gration, it  may  be  noted  that  between  May  19, 
1866  and  July  23,  1869,  there  had  been  entered 
at  the  U.  S.  land  office  with  cash  and  land 
warrants  ia  Blue  Earth  County  4,963  acres  and 
as  homesteads  16,437  acres. 

This  year  (1869),  the  county  bridge,  353  feet 
long,  was  erected  over  the  Blue  Earth  at  West 
Mankato.  During  this  summer,  also,  the  St. 
Paul  and  Sioux  City  Railroad  was  extended 
from  Mankato  to  Crystal  Lake.  Here  a  new 
town  was  laid  out  in  May,  1869  by  Lucius  0. 
Hunt  and  Wniiam  R.  Robinson  and  named 
"Lake  Crystal."  By  the  time  the  railway 
reached  this  point  in  September,  quite  a  vill- 
age had  sprung  up,  where  two  months  before 
there  was  only  a  field  to  be  seen.  The  Loon 
Lake  Postofiice  was  discontinued  and  a  new 
office  established  at  Lake  Crystal  with  Henry 
Humphrey  as  first  postmaster  on  September  1, 
1869.  By  December  1,  1869  we  note  that  Lake 
Crystal  possessed  a  grain  elevator,  a  hotel,  built 
by  S.  P.  Oakley,  a  two  story  frame  school  house, 
34x40,  a  two  story  frame  store,  built  by  Henry 
Humphrey  and  occupied  with  a  stock  of  gro- 
ceries and  drugs  by  Pomeroy  &  Wickersham, 
a  store  building  erected  by  W.  C.  Davis  and 
occupied  by  him  with  a  stock  of  hardware,  a 
building  occupied  by  Davis  &  Dunn  as  general 
store,  another  building  occupied  by  P.  A.  Lar- 
fcon  with  another  general  store,  a  harness  shop 
conducted  by  Wm.  Seeger,  a  cooper  shop  in  charge 
of  Dorwood  &  McKay,  and  a  doctor's  office.  H. 
C.  Howard,  also,  had  just  sold  his  flour  mill  at 
Shelby  Center  to  Henry  Day  for  $1,600  and  his 
sawmill  at  the  same  place  to  Asa  White  and  S.  C. 
Hilton,  who  moved  it  to  section  three  of  Mc- 
Pherson,   and   had  built  him   a   home   at   Lake 


Crystal  and  opened  there  an  agricultural  imple- 
ment store.  In  short.  Lake  Crystal  had  grown 
in  about  four  months  from  nothing  to  a  bust- 
ling village  of  forty  buildings  and  on  February 
34,  1870,  was  incorporated  by  the  Legislature 
as  a  village. 

On  July  3,  1869  the  Republicans  of  Blue 
Earth  County  tried  what  was  known  as  the 
Crawford  plan  of  nominating  their  county  offi- 
cers. This  was  really  a  priniar}-  election  method 
such  as  is  now  in  vogue.  It  happened  this 
year  that  the  Republicans  had  nine  candidates 
for  sheriff  and  there  were  three  to  five  candi- 
dates each  for  some  of  the  other  offices,  and  the 
persons  who  were  nominated,  only  received  one- 
fifth  to  one-third  of  the  total  vote.  This  caused 
great  dissatisfaction  with  the  Primary  Election 
plan  and  it  was  abolished  at  an  election  held 
May  31,  1870,  by  a  vote  of  439  to  103.  The 
Republican  nominee  for  sheriff  and  some  of 
the  other  nominees  of  that  party  for  county 
offices  were  beaten  at  the  polls.  P.  H.  Waite  of 
Mankato  ran  as  an  Independent  candidate  for 
Judge  of  the  District  Court  at  this  election. 
Being  a  Democrat,  he  was  endorsed  by  his  own 
party,  and  elected  by  a  good  majority  over 
Andrew  C.  Dunn  the  Republican  nominee. 

About  October  1,  1869,  a  post  office  was  creat- 
ed ia  the  southwest  corner  of  Rapidan  with 
Dr.  N.  Bixby  as  postmaster.  He,  also,  had  to 
act  as  his  own  mail  carrier. 

The  Winona  &  St.  Peter  Railroad  had  now 
reached  Janesville,  and  had  its  track  laid  to 
the  east  line  of  our  county,  and  a  village  was 
laid  out  there  called  "Smith's  Mill,"  one- 
half  of  which  is  located  in  each  county. 

Back  in  1857,  the  territorial  Legislature  had 
created  a   railway   company    called   the   "Minne- 


169 


m 


HISTOSY  01'  BLtJE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


sota  and  Northwestern  Eailroad  company." 
^imong  the  incorporators  were  Dr.  Wm.  E. 
McMahan  and  Basil  Moreland  of  Mankato, 
Matthew  Thompson  of  South  Bend,  and  Pran- 
cis  Bassen  and  Col.  Wm.  Pfender  of  New  Ulm, 
and  the  road  was  to  run  from  a  point  on  the 
Iowa  line  via  Austin,  Mankato,  South  Bend, 
New  Ulm,  and  Big  Stone  Lake,  to  the  mouth 
of  Sioux  Wood  Eiver.  This  charter  was  renewed 
by  an  act  passed  by  the  Legislature  in  March, 
1867,  and  the  route  designated  being  the  same 
practically  as  in  the  original  bill,  except  that 
Geneva  and  Wilton  were  added  to  the  points 
the  road  was  to  pass  through.  In  March  1869, 
this  act '  was  again  amended,  to  the  effect  that 
the  line  of  the  road  should  begin  on  or  near 
the  Iowa  line,  and  run  by  Albert  Lea  to  Man- 
kato and  thence  in  the  direction  of  Big  Stone 
Lake  to  the  western  boundary  of  the  State.  The 
corporation  was  also  authorized  to  construct  a 
branch  from  Mankato  to  Blue  Earth  City  and 
to  change  its  name  if  it  saw  proper.  This  year 
James  B.  Hubble,  John  A.  Willard  and  Clark 
Thompson  took  hold  of  the  charter  and  deter- 
mined to  use  it  to  construct  a  railroad  from 
Mankato  by  way  of  Good  Thunder's  Pord  to 
connect  with  the  Chicago  and  Milwaukee  Eail- 
way  at  Wells.  It  was  also  planned  to  extend 
the  road  in  a  northwesterly  direction  later. 
Mankato  and  the  whole  county  became  greatly 
interested  in  the  project.  December  18,  1869, 
a  mass  meeting  was  held  at  Higgins  Hall,  Man- 
kato, to  consider  the  project,  and  a  resolution 
was  passed  in  favor  of  granting  the  company  a 
bonus  of  $65,000.  On  December  23,  the  com- 
mon council  of  Mankato  voted  to  issue  bonds 
to  that  amount,  subject  to  the  approval 
of  the  electors  of  the  city,  and  an  election  was 
called  for  January  4,  1870.  The  vote  resulted 
464  in  favor  and  10  against  the  bonus.  Janu- 
ary 13,  1870  Lime  voted  $4,000  bonus  for  same 
purpose  by  vote  of  35  to  29.  Beauford,  Maple- 
ton,  and  Lyra  voted  $15,000  each  and  Mankato 
Township  and  Decoria  $10,000  each.  The  road 
was  begun  in  the  summer  of  1870,  and  com- 
pleted in   1874. 

May  25,  1869,  Mr.  J.  C.  Wise  re-entered  the 
newspaper  field,  bringing  out  on  that  date  the 
first  issue  of  the  "Mankato  Eeview."     Mr.'  B.  C. 


Payne  was  at  first  associated  with  him  as  editor 
and  proprietor,  but  after  one  yeax's  experience 
retired.  The  paper  was  conducted  as  a  Demo- 
cratic Journal  and  under  the  able  management 
of  Mr.  Wise  became  very  popular  and  influen- 
tial. 

The  snow  fall  of  1868-9  was  seven  and  one 
half  feet  and  that  of  1869-70  seven  and  one- 
sixth  feet,  which  resulted  in  a  good  stage  of 
water  in  the  Minnesota  each  spring.  The  steam- 
boat trade  therefore  continued  quite  good  in 
spite  of  tha  arrival  of  the  railroads.  Many  of 
the  boats,  however,  withdrew.  Among  those 
who  continued  in  1869,  were  the  Ellen  Hardy, 
St.  Anthony  Palls,  Jennette  Eoberts,  Otter, 
Mankato,  and  Pioneer.  The  Otter  for  two  or 
tnree  years  made  regular  trips  between  New 
Ulm  and  South  Bend,  transferring  at  the  latter 
place  passengers  and  freight  to  the  St.  Paul 
and  Sioux  City  Eailroad.  The  Otter  at  this 
time  was  owned  by  New  Ulm  business  men. 
John  Segar  was  her  captain  in  1870,  and  after- 
wards Boncoeur  Subilier,  both  of  New  Ulm. 
In  1870,  there  were  about  eighty  steamboat 
arrivals  at  Mankato.  Among  the  boats  engaged 
this  year  were  the  Otter,  Mankato,  St.  Anthony, 
Tiger,  Dexter,  John  C.  Gault  and  G.  B.  Knapp. 
The  total  wheat  receipts  at  Mankato  up  to  Feb- 
ruary 1,  1870  from  the  1869  crop  amounted  to 
213,970  bushels,  which  indicates  that  there  was 
considerable   transportation  to   do. 

Early  in  March  Dr.  E.  D.  Buckner  started 
a  newspaper  at  Lake  Crystal  called  the  "Peoples 
Journal."  On  May  3,  it  merged  with  the  "Gar- 
den City  Herald,"  under  the  name  of  "Herald 
and  Journal"  and  continued  its  place  of  publi- 
cation at  Garden  City,  until  August,  1870,  when 
it  was  discontinued,  and  the  press  removed  to 
Madelia.  On  March  4,  1870,  the  following  mail 
routes  existed  in  Blue  Earth  County,  carrying 
mail   to   the  postoffices  named: 

(1)  Prom  Mankato  by  Tivoli,  Winnebago 
Agency,  Medo,  Sherman  to  Minnesota  lake,  ser- 
vice semi-weekly. 

(2)  Prom    Mankato    by    Decoria,    Beauford, 
Perch   Lake   and    Garden    Prairie   to    Minnesota ' 
Lake,  service  weekly. 

(3)  Prom    Mankato    by    Eed    Jacket    Mills, 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


171 


!   1 


Castle  Garden,   Good  Thunder  Pord,   Mapleton, 
to  Minnesota   Lake,   service   weekly. 

(4)  From  Mankato  by  South  Bend,  Garden 
City,  Vernon  Center,  Shelbyville,  to  Blue  Earth 
City,  service  six  times  a  week. 

(5)  From  Mankato  by  South  Bend,  Lalce 
Crystal,  Iceland,  to  Madelia,  daily  service. 

(6)  From  Mankato  by  South  Bend,  Judson, 
Butternut  Valley  to  New  Ukn,  service  sis  times 
a  week. 

(7)  From  Garden  City  by  Watonwan,  Wil- 
low Creek,  Pleasant  Mounds,  to  Eairmont,  ser- 
vice twice  a  week. 

(8)  From  Vernon  Center  via  Sterling  Cen- 
ter to  Mapleton,  service  semi-weekly. 

(9)  From  Winona  via  Spier  (Eagle  Lake) 
to  Mankato,  service   daily. 

(10)  From  Wilton  via  Cobb  river  to  Minne- 
sota Lake,  weekly. 

In  March,  IS';*©,  a  number  of  Germans  at 
Mankato  organized  a  Turner  Society,  with  forty 
members.  The  main  object  of  the  society  was 
gymnastic    exercise    and    social    privileges. 

During  the  years  1869,  1870,-71  and  72  the 
old  settlers  held  their  reunions  at  Mankato. 
Fourth  of  July  celebrations  were  held  in  various 
parts  of  the  county.  In  1869,  Garden  City  had 
the  principle  one  with  Judge  Austin  as  orator. 
In  1870,  Winnebago  Agency,  and  a  grove  near 
Mr.  Taylor's  store  in  Mapleton  were  the  centers 
of  patriotic   demonstrations. 

During  those  years  the  Blue  Earth  County 
bar  possessed  an  array  of  legal  and  forensic 
talent  of  great  ability.  Judge  Waite,  who  had 
come  to  the  county  in  1860,  and  who  recently 
had  won  fame  in  his  legal  battles  in  behalf  of 
the  city  of  Mankato  to  recover  its  streets,  levees, 
and  public  grounds  against  private  greed,  which 
had  appropriated  them,  and  against  the  St. 
Paul  and  Sioux  City  Eailroads,  who  had  attempt- 
ed to  steal  a  right  of  way  through  the  city 
without  paying  therefor,  was  now  on  the  bench. 
As  a  lawyer  he  was  a  great  worker,  and  ener- 
getic and  persistent  fighter,  and  as  a  judge  he 
was  able,  honest  and  impartial.  Daniel  Buck, 
who  had  first  settled  in  South  Bend,  but  had 
recently  removed  to  Mankato.  He  was  an  inde- 
fatigable worker.  Impulsive,  honest,  earnest, 
determined,  a  firm  believer  in  the  right  of  his 


clients  case,  a  strong  man  with  the  jury,  he 
continued  the  Nestor  of  the  Bar  of  our  county 
nearly  half  a  century.  E.  P.  Freeman  came 
to  Mankato  early  in  1S62,  a  graduate  of  Yale 
Law  school,  having  a  good  legal  mind,  well 
trained,  a  genial,  kind  hearted  man,  whom  all 
liked.  But  he  allowed  politics  and  his  social 
habits  to  interfere  too  much  at  times  with  his 
law  practice.  Served  as  County  Attorney,  as 
Legislator  and  as  Receiver  of  the  U.  S.  Land 
Office  for  many  years.  Judge  Brown  came  to 
Mankato  in  1865,  from  Indiana.  He  was  a 
gentleman  of  the  old  school,  medium  sized, 
smooth  shaved,  with  an  erect,  alert  figure.  Neat 
and  professional  in  dress  but  not  particularly 
stylish.  Always  polite  and  affable.  Fond  of 
classical  learning  and  all  educational  matters. 
A  good  lawyer  but  lacking  a  little  in  depth 
and  breadth.  His  partner  James  A.  Wiswell 
located  in  1857,  in  Garden  City,  removed  to 
Mankato  about  1854,  and  went  into  partner- 
ship with  Judge  Brown,  and  for  many  years 
t.ie  firm  of  Brown  &  Wiswell  were  prominent 
among  the  Blue  Earth  County  bar.  He  was 
not  as  polished  or  well  educated  as  Judge 
Brown,  but  possessed  considerable  native  abil- 
ity and  was  a  man.  of  good  judgment.  He 
served  the  County  as  Legislator  for  several  terms 
and   the   city  of   Mankato   as   its   first   mayor. 

0.  0.  Pitcher  came  to  Mankato  as  an  edu- 
cator in  1857,  and  after  a  few  years  entered 
the  law.  He  possessed  a  good  legal  mind,  and 
served  as  County  Attorney  and  legislator,  but 
was  not  a  great  trial  lawyer,  and  after  a  few 
years  retired  from  active  practice.  He  took 
much    interest    in    political   matters. 

In  1870,  Martin  J.  Severance  removed  to 
JIankato  and  at  once  took  a  leading  place  among 
the  bar  of  the  county.  He  had  an  impressive 
presence  and  splendid  oratorical  powers,  which 
gave  him  strength  before  a  jury.  He  was,  also, 
well  versed  in  the  law  and  strictly  honest  and 
upright  as  a  .  man.  At  first  he  formed  a  co- 
partnership with  Mr.  Pitcher  and  later  with 
D.  A.  Dickenson.  Judge  Dickenson  opened  a 
law  office  in  Mankato  in  1868.  He  was  an 
able  lawyer,  a  thorough  gentleman,  clean  and 
upright.  Among  the  younger  men  were,  M. 
G.  Willard  who  came  to  Mankato  in  1868,  and 


172 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


devoted  most  of  his  attention  to  mercantile  and 
real  estate  law.  A.  E.  Pfau,  began  the  prac- 
tice of  his  profession  at  Mankato  in  1869, 
and  was  quick,  witty  and  vigorous  in  the  tria,! 
of  his  case,  a  popular  young  lawyer  with  the 
jury;  and  J.  E.  Porter,  who  came  to  Mankato 
in  1870,  but  was  soon  elected  Judge  of  Probate 
and  side  tracked  from  the  law.  Such  were 
the  most  prominent  members  of  the  bar  in  our 
county  in  the  early  seventies.  A  line  array  of 
men  of  splendid  character  and  talent.  Pour  of 
whom  became  district  court  judges  and  two 
.-vive  sat  upon  the  supreme  bench  of  the  state. 

On  May  29,  1870  Mankato  had  its  first  big 
fire,  when  five  stores  in  block  fourteen  were 
wiped  out. 

As  indicating  the  speed  of  steam  boats  on 
the  Minnesota  it  is  recorded  that  on  May  14, 
1870,  the  Tiger  made  the  distance  from  Eed 
Wood  to  Mankato  in  thirteen  and  one-half  hours, 
being  the  quickest  time  it  had  ever  been  made. 

By  August,  1870,  the  track  of  the  Winona 
and  St.  Peter  Eailroad  was  completed  to  Bur- 
gess' Mill  (the  present  site  of  Eagle  Lake),  and 
on  August  26,  its  first  train,  consisting  of  two 
passenger  coaches,  a  baggage  and  mail  coaches 
and  three  freight  cars  arrived  at  Mankato.  On 
October  35,  1870,  the  completion  of  the  road  to 
Mankato  was  celebrated  by  a  grand  excursion 
and  a  big  dinner,  at  which  Judge  Waite  acted 
as  toast  master  and  speeches  were  made  by 
Judge  Wm.  Mitchell,  Judge  C.  H.  Berry,  Mayor 
Lee  of  St.  Paul,  D.  Sinclair  and  others.  In 
September,  1870,  D.  C.  Evans  and  Elias  F. 
Drake  platted  the  townsite  of  Minneopa.  The 
St.  Paul  and  Sioux  City  road  erected  a  grain 
elevator  here,  at  which  D.  C.  Evans  acted  as 
buyer.  In  the  month  of  ISTovember  alone  he 
bought  and  shipped  19,600  bushels  of  wheat 
from  this  station.  J  Dean  of  Minneapolis 
opened  a  lumber  yard  here,  and  during  the  sum- 
mer the  picturesque  falls  attracted  picnic  excur- 
sions from  St.  Paul,  St.  Peter,  Mankato  and  a 
number   of   other   places. 

This  year  the  hop  product  of  the  Prisbie  and 
Shepard  yard  amounted  to  9,000  pounds  and 
that  of  the  Hanna  yard  to  7,000  pounds. 

On  December  13,  1870,  for  the  first  time  in 
the  history  of  the  county  its  treasurer  was  able 


to  pay  the  jurors  of  the  District  Court  in  cash. 
Heretofore  they  and  all  creditors  of  the  county 
had  been  paid  in  county  orders,  which  were 
discounted  at  the  stores,  but  at  last  our  county 
had  become  solvent  and  has  so  remained  ever 
since. 

The  fall  of  1870,  was  very  fine  and  even  wild 
fiowers  were  found  on  the  prairie  as  late  as 
December.  About  Nov.  1,  1870,  the  new  post 
ofllice  of  "Speier"  was  established  near  the  Bur- 
gess mill  in  Le  Eay  and  Freeman  A.  Gate 
appointed    postmaster. 

In  October  1870,  Mapleton  station  was  sur- 
veyed on  the  line  of  the  new  Wells  railroad  and 
on  January  21,  1871,  a  plat  of  the  new  town- 
site  was  made  by  David  Smith  (Owner  of  the 
land)  and  Clark  W.  Thompson,  James  B.  Hub- 
bell,  and  John  A.  Willard,  who  as  owners  of 
the  Eailway,  had  received  each  a  one-fourth 
interest  in  the  townsite. 

Arrangements  were  also  made  to  lay  out 
another  townsite  on  the  land  of  Levi  Houk  at 
Good  Thunder's  Ford,  and  a  survey  of  this 
town  was  made  in  April,  1871,  by  Levi  Hauk, 
Clark  W.  Thompson,  James  B.  Hubbell  and 
John  A.  Willard,  and  a  plat  filed  in  which  the 
village  was  designated  "Good  Thunder."  Imme- 
diately after  the  survey  in  April,  John  G.  Gra- 
ham, who  had  been  in  business  at  Garden  City, 
began  the  erection  of  a  store  building  at  Good 
Thunder.  The  carpenter  work  was  done  by 
Julius  Webber,  then  a  young  carpenter  at  Gar- 
den City,  but  afterwards  for  many  years  the 
honored  judge  of  the  Ninth  Judicial  District, 
with  home  at  New  Ulm.  Early  in  June,  1871, 
Mr.  Graham  moved  his  stock  of  general  mer- 
chandise from  Garden  City  to  Good  Thunder, 
and,  a  postofEice  being  established  there  about 
the  same  time,  he  was  made  its  first  postmaster. 
Before  the  middle  of  June  two  stores  had  been 
opened  and  a  building  for  a  hardware  store 
nearly  completed  at  the  new  town. 

Soon  after  the  survey  of  Mapleton  station  in 
October,  1870,  James  E.  Brown,  who  was  in  the 
mercantile  business  at  Winnebago  Agency  built 
a  store  at  the  new  townsite  and  began  business^ 
there.  In  May,  1871,  he  sold  out  his  business 
at  Winnebago  Agency  and  removed  entirely  to 
Mapleton,  becoming  its   first  merchant. 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


173 


During  the  winter  of  1870-71  wlieat  went  up 
to  $1  per  bushel  to  the  great  encouragement 
of  the  farmers.  About  April  1,  1871  the  Blue 
Earth  Valley  Farmers'  Club  was  organized  at 
Shelbyville    with    following    officers: 

President,   Chas.  Holgate. 

Vice-President,  James  Miller. 

Treasurer,   C.   Crocker. 

Secretary,  David  E.  Cross. 

Corresponding  Secretary,   C.   Crandall. 

In  the  fall  of  1870,  Eev.  A.  Council  of  the 
Christian  Church  started  a  college  at  ]\Iankato 
known  as  "Blue  Earth  College,"  which  ran  for 
i.bout  a  year.  Eev.  Council  was  a  very  capable 
and  energetic  young  man,  but  in  quite  feeble 
health,  and  before  the  end  of  the  school  year, 
he  was  obliged  to  resign  because  of  sickness, 
and  his  assistant,  Hiss  E.  J.  Dickerson,  finished 
the  first  year  of  the  school  and  then  it  had  to 
be  abandoned. 

In  March,  1871,  Mankato  school  District 
voted  $10,000.00  bonds  for  the  erection  of  a  sec- 
ond school  building,  and  the  "Pleasant  Grove" 
school  house  was  completed  that  fall.  At  Man- 
kato in  1871,  we  also  note  the  building  of  a  fac- 
tory on  2nd  street  opposite  the  American  House, 
for  the  manufacture  of  doors,  sash,  blinds,  etc., 
by  Wolfram  and  Pans;  the  building  of  a  large 
brick  residence  by  John  J.  Shaubut,  which  now 
forms  a  part  of  St.  Joseph's  Hospital;  and 
the  construction  of  the  present  large  German 
Catholic  Church.  The  laying  of  the  corner  stone 
of  the  latter  building  on  .July  24th,  was  a  not- 
able event.  Bishop  Grace  officiated  and  there 
were  grand  processions  in  charge  of  Dr.  Foil- 
man  as  Marshal,  and  impressive  ceremonies  wit- 
nessed by  about  3,000  persons.  The  building 
cogt  about   $-15,000.00   originally. 

As  long  as  the  stage  of  water  permitted  the 
Pioneer  and  the  Hudson  were  run  between  Man- 
kato and  New  Ulm  and  Epd  Wood  in  connection 
with  the  Winona  and  St.  Peter  railway,  and 
the  Otter  and  the  St.  Anthony  Palls  in  connec- 
tion with  the  St.  Paul  and  Sioux  City  Bailway. 
As  the  river  was  low  much  of  the  summer,  steam- 
hoat  traific  to  St.  Paul  was  largelv  discontinued, 
and  in  two  or  three  ye^rs  craped  altogether.  The 
boats  were  unable  with  the  uncertain  stage  of 
water -to  compete  with  the  railroads.  On  July  7, 


1871,  one  of  the  worst  hail  storms  that  ever  visit- 
ed the  county  swept  over  the  townships  of  Cam- 
bria, Judson,  South  Bend,  Butternut  Valley, 
Lincoln,  Garden  City  and  portions  of  Jledo,  work- 
ing wholesale  destruction  to  over  10,000  acres 
of  grain  in  our  own  county,  besides  the  havoc 
done  in  Brown  and  Nicollet  counties.  Many  of 
the  farmers  were  left  in  utter  destitution,  with- 
out even  bread  or  seed,  let  alone  the  wherewith 
to  meet  their  obligations.  All  their  hard  labor 
for  the  entire  year  gone  in  a  few  moments.  The 
farmer  of  those  days  had  nothing  to  fall  back 
upon  if  his  wheat  crop  failed.  During  the  win- 
ter of  1871-2  about  1,300  of  these  hail  storm 
sufferers  applied  to  the  governor  for  aid  to  pro- 
cure seed  wheat.  The  Legislature  passed  meas- 
ures for  their  relief  and  the  County  Commis- 
sioners of  Blue  Earth  County  were  authorized 
to  issue  $5,000.00  in  bonds  for  the  aid  of  such 
sufferers  in  this  county.  The  bonds,  however, 
were  defeated  at  the  polls  in  March  by  a  vote 
of  579  against  to  531  in  favor.  Some  of  the 
towns,  who  had  suffered  no  harm,  with  the 
selfishness  too  often  witnessed  in  public  mat- 
ters, voted  almost  solid  against  the  proposition. 
At  their  meeting  of  March,  1871,  the  County 
Board  had  over  100  applications  for  aid  from 
the  hail  sufferers  and  gave  such  assistance  as 
they  were  able.  Private  subscriptions,  also,  did 
something  to  relieve  the  situation.  Public  char- 
ity is  always  grossly  abused  by  the  dishonest  and 
unworthy,  which  thought  doubtless  influenced 
the  vote  on  the  bonds,  yet  the  example  of  Him, 
"Who  makes  his  sun  shine  on  the  just  and  the 
imjust"  is  the  safest  rule  in  cases  of  great  pub- 
lic calamity  and   actual  need. 

In  the  fall  of  1871,  Woodham  and  Burgess 
built  a  flour  mill  at  the  outlet  of  Eagle  Lake. 
On  January  25,  1872,  the  Blue  Earth  Valley 
Bums  Club  met  at  the  house  of  James  Ellis 
in  Sterling  and  the  good  old  songs  and  games  of 
bonny  Scotland  were  given  a  full  test  on  the 
snowy  banks  of  Lake  Lura.  The  officers  elect- 
ed for  the  coming  year  were : 

President,  James  Ellis. 

Vice-President,  James  Curry. 

Treasurer,  John  Johnston. 

Eecording   Secretary.   Chas.    Sanborn. 

Cor.    Secretary,    Eobert    Taylor. 


174 


HISTOEY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


The  winter  of  1871-3  had  an  abundant  snow- 
fall, in  some  of  the  railway  cuts  it  was  twenty 
feet  deep.  The  depth  of  the  snow  drove  the 
deer  from  the  timber  back  of  Mankato  and 
they  were  found  at  times  in  Van  Brunt  and 
Warren  Additions. 

During  the  summer  of  1871,  there  were  a 
number  of  railway  excursions  gotten  up  by 
the  churches  of  Mankato  as  a  means  of  recrea- 
tion and  of  raising  money.  Some  of  the 
churches  cleared  $150.00  to  $200.00  each  on 
these   excursions. 

The  Citizens  National  Bank  of  Mankato  was 
organized  on  the  28th  of  May,  1872.  John  P. 
Meagher  was  chosen  President,  J.  P.  Bishop, 
vice-president,  and  J.  H.  Ray  cashier,  and  the 
following  were  made  directors:  H.  Wolfram, 
Daniel  Buck,  J.  W.  Bishop,  J.  P.  Meagher,  M. 
Schwartz,  J.  A.  James,  Chas.  Mansfield,  J.  J. 
Thompson,  J.  T.  Williams,  Wm.  Thomas  and 
Wm.  Condon.  On  May  20,  1872,  E.  S.  Eich 
started  a  cheese  factory  at  Lake  Crystal,  a  fore- 
runner of  the  great  dairy  industry, .  which  has 
later  made  such  wonderful  progress. 

On  July  23,  1872,  a  German  singing  society 
known  as  the  Harmonia,  laid  the  corner  stone 
of  their  new  hall,  which  is  the  present  opera 
house  at  Mankato.  There  was  a  procession  of 
various  lodges  and  clubs  present.  A.  E.  Pfau 
gave  the  English  address  and  Prof.  Neumeyer 
spoke  in  German.  The  building  was  finished 
this  year  and  senator  Wilkinson  gave  the  dedi- 
catory oration  on  Christmas  day. 

On  the  13th  of  August,  1872,  The  Mankato 
Linseed  Oil  Co.,  was  organized  by  John  A. 
Willard,  James  B.  Hubbell  and  E.  D.  Hubbard 
and  the  works  at  Mankato  greatly  enlarged.  This 
company  located  flax  mills  at  Lake  Crystal  and 
in  Shelby  to  prepare  the  crude  material  for 
their  Mankato  factory.  On  June  4,  1872,  the 
Blue  Earth  County  Beekeepers  Association  met 
in  convention  at  Eraser's  Hall,  Garden  City,  and 
stimulated  the  culture  of  the  honey  industry.  A. 
W.  Hawley,  B.  B.  Parker,  Edson  Gerry,  E.  G. 
Eew,  J.  P.  Purber  and  B.  Coffin  were  among 
those  who  participated  in  the  convention. 

On  September  3,  1872,  the  Germans  of  Man- 
kato formed  a  new  militia  company,  called  "Na- 
tional Guards,"  with  forty  members,  officered 
as  follows: 


Captain,  Leopold  Pry. 

Pirst  Lieut.,  H.  Himmelman. 

Second  Lieut.,.  Chas.  H.  Otto. 

Pirst  Sergeant,  Gust  Schildknecht. 

Second  Sergeant,  Geo.  Schoiler. 

Corporal,  Geo.  Steins. 

At  the  November  election,  1872,  the  Eepubli- 
cans  and  Democrats  divided  the  honors.  Among 
the  democrats  elected  were  Daniel  Buck,  for 
County  Attorney,  J.  Wm.  Hoerr  for  County 
Treasurer,  and  J.  E.  Porter  for  Judge  of  Pro- 
bate. Porter  was  a  new  man  and  running  against 
David  Wilcox,  one  of  the  best  known  men  in 
the  county,  and  under  the  circumstances  Porter's 
victory  was  a  great  surprise.  He  won  by  four 
votes. 

Winter  set  in  early  in  the  fall  of  1872,  and 
the  railroads  had  snow  blockades  about  the  first 
of  November.  Most  of  the  farmers  and  the  own- 
ers of  horse  flesh  generally  were,  also,  blockaded 
this  winter,  for  the  Epizootic  everywhere  was 
prevalent.  As  the  winter  progressed  the  snow 
became  ever  deeper  and  the  temperature  colder. 
The  railroads  in  spite  of  every  effort  were  block- 
aded for  weeks  at  a  time.  The  Winona  &  St.  Peter 
road  suffered  particularly  on  the  portion  of  their 
road  between  St.  Peter  and  New  Ulm,  and  its 
trains  were  hardly  able  to  get  to  the  latter  place  all 
winter  and  the  mails  had  to  be  carried  thither  on 
sleighs.  Two  hundred  shovelers  were  kept  at 
work,  but  to  no  purpose,  for  what  they  cleared 
out  one  day  would  blow  full  the  next.  On  Jan- 
uary 7,  1873,  a  terrible  blizzard  set  in,  which 
lasted  for  two  days.  It  was  about  the  worst 
known  in  the  history  of  the  country  and  many 
people  were  frozen  to  death,  and  Blue  Earth 
county  did  not  entirely  escape.  D.  Kirk,  a 
school  teacher  of  Garden  City,  and  a  brother 
of  David  Kirk,  afterwards  county  superintendent 
of  schools,  was  caught  by  the  storm  away  from 
home  and  perished.  John  Halverson  of  Medo 
was  likewise  caught  and  so  badly  frozen  that 
his  feet  and  hands  had  to  be  amputated.  About 
seventy  persons  perished  in  the  State  and  thirty- 
one  were  seriously  injured.  About  250  cattle 
and  twenty-five  horses  were  destroyed  by  the 
storm. 

Elsewhere  in  this  volume  will  be  found  a  table 
showing  the  growth  of  our  public  schools  during 
the  past  forty-five  years,  prepared  from,  the  an- 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


175 


nual  reports  furnished  the  State  Superintendent 
of  Puhlic  Instruction.  Here  will  be  noted  the 
transition  from  the  log  school  house  to  the  frame 
and  brick,  the  gradual  substitution  of  female 
for  male  teachers,  the  advance  in  wages,  and 
the  increase  in  the  number  of  scholars.  All  are 
items  of  interest  and  worthy  of  consideration. 
Statistics,  however,  do  not  reveal  the  real 
work  of  education,  what  advance  has  been  made 
in  methods  of  teaching,  how  much  better  educat- 
ed the  youth  of  today  are  if  any,  compared  with 
their  fathers  and  mothers,  who  attended  the 
schools  of  thirty  and  forty  years  ago,  are  ques- 
tions of  more  importance.  The  advantages  of  the 
present  over  the  past  pertain,  however,  more  to 
the  city  and  village  than  to  the  country  school,  for 
the  latter  continues  much  as  of  yore,  except  that 
the  men  teachers  have  disappeared  and  likewise 
most  of  the  older  scholars.  Many  of  the  latter 
now  attend  the  high  school  of  some  nearby 
village  or  town.  The  primitive  log  schoolhouse, 
in  which  the  only  furniture  consisted  of  a  box 
stove  in  the  corner  by  the  door,  a  chair  and 
cheap  table  at  the  farther  end  of  the  room  for 
the  teacher,  and  a  few  rude  homemade  benches 
ranged  between  for  the  pupils,  have  long  since 
vanished.  But  the  white  painted  frame  struc- 
ture, with  patent  desks,  a  black  board,  a  few 
maps  and  charts  on  the  wall,  and  a  globe  and 
dictionary  on  the  teachers  desk,  still  remains, 
much  as  in  the  seventies.  In  this  connection  it 
may  not  be  void  of  interest  to  take  a  mere  glimpse 
into  a  number  of  the  school  houses  of  the  county 
in  the  fall  of  1872,  with  E.  C.  Payne,  then 
County  Superintendent,  as  he  reported  the  same 
in   the   Eeview    of    that    day. 

District  ISTo.  53,  Mankato  Township,  Teacher, 
Miss  Mary  Bailey,  wages  $30.00  per  month,  pu- 
pils enrolled  forty-eight,  present  thirty-eight 
good  frame  building. 

District  No.  3,  Tivoli,  teacher  Miss  Mary 
Maynard,  wages  $100  for  three  months,  enrolled 
thirty-three,  present  twenty-one,  need  a  new 
school   house. 

District  Fo.  72,  Eed  Jacket,  teacher  Lizzie 
Faddis,  wages  $30  per  month,  enrolled  twenty- 
seven,  present  eighteen,   doing  good  work. 

District  No.  91,  Eapidan,  teacher  Wm.  Blain, 


wages   $40.00    per   month,   enrolled   thirty,   pres- 
ent nineteen,  a  good  school. 

District  No.  16,  Garden  City  Village,  Primary 
Department:  Miss  Emma  King,  teacher,  enroll- 
led  thirty-two,  present  twenty-five,  wages  $30.; 
Intermediate  Department;  Miss  Emma  L.  Wal- 
ker, teacher,  enrolled  49,  present  forty-two, 
wages  $30.  High  school,  David  Kirk,  teacher, 
enrolled  forty-three,  present  thirty-six,  wages 
$45.00.   School  house  large  two  story  frame. 

District  No.  107,  Minneopa  Falls,  Miss  Anna 
Jenkins,  teacher,  wages  $40,  enrolled  twenty- 
five,   present  twenty,  good  frame  building. 

District  No.  5,  South  Bend  and  Judson,  Wm, 
E.  Davis,  teacher,  wages  $45.00,  enrolled  44, 
present   30,   small  frame  building. 

District  No.  17,  Garden  City  Township,  A. 
L.  Pratt,  teacher,  wages  $40,  enrolled  32, 
present    28,    good    frame    building. 

District  No.  21,  Garden  City  and  Vernon, 
Miss  Hattie  A.  Eew,  teacher,  wages  $30,  enroll- 
ed 40,  present  32,  frame  building. 

District  No.  26,  Vernon  Center  Township,  A. 
C.  Harrison,  teacher,  wages  $40,  enrolled  26, 
present  18,  good  frame  building. 

District  No.  24,  Village  of  Vernon,  Merrit 
Turner,  teacher,  wages  $40,  enrolled  59,  present 
38,  very  poor  frame  building. 

District  No.  123,  Shelby,  Miss  Lou  Evans, 
teacher,  wages  $28,  enrolled  14,  present  12,  good 
frame   building. 

District  No.  46,  Shelby,  John  Owens,  teacher, 
wages  $30,  enrolled  19,  present  14,  good  frame 
building. 

District  No.  47  Village  of  Shelbyville,  Miss 
Emma  Merrill,  teacher,  wages  $35,   enrolled   30, 

District  No.  117,  Shelby,  G.  W.  Dewn,  teach- 
present   22,   good    frame  building, 
er,  wages  $20  and  board,  enrolled  24,  present  22, 
new  brick  building  of   good  size. 

District  No.  37,  Pleasant  Mound,  W.  H.  De- 
graff  teacher,  wages  $16  and  board,  enrolled  16, 
present  8,  poor  frame  building. 

District  No.  125,  Pleasant  Mound,  Miss  M. 
E.  Aiken,  teacher,  wages  $24,  enrolled  15, 
present    8,    new   brick   building. 

District  No.  27,  Shelby,  C.  H.  Eadford, 
teacher,  wages  $45,  enrolled  38,  present  23,  new 


176 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  BAETH  COUNTY. 


brick  of  good  size,  best  school  house  in  county 
outside  of  Mankato. 

District  Ko.  90,  Eapidan,  Miss  M.  J.  Plymat, 
teacher,  wages  $33,  enrolled  23,  present  17, 
good  frame  building. 

District  No.  23,  Vernon,  A.  M.  Hannay,  teach- 
er, school  not  in  session  that  day. 

District  No.  25,  Vernon,  S.  N.  Rose,  teach- 
er, school  not  in  session. 

District  No.  72,  Red  Jacket  Mills,  B.  0.  Stod- 
dard, teacher,  wages  $42,  enrolled  42,  present 
29,  stone  building. 

District  No.  79,  Rapidan,  R.  A.  Moses,  teach- 
er, wages  $40,  enrolled  24,  present  16,  good 
frame  building. 

District  No.  141,  Rapidan  and  Lyra,  Miss  J. 
A.  Williams,  teacher,  wages  $35,  enrolled  10, 
present  7,  good  frame  building. 

District  No.  87,  Good  Thunder  Village,  0. 
A.  Benedict,  teacher,  wages  $40,  enrolled  43, 
present  26,  rented  room. 

District  No.  98,  Lyra,  Miss  Ida  Long,  teach- 
er, wages  $25,  enrolled  21,  present  13,  unfinished 
frame    building. 

District  No.  73,  Lower  Agency  in  MePher- 
son,  Morris  Wilkins,  teacher,  wages  $40,  en- 
rolled 52,  present  37,  good  new  frame  build- 
ing. 

District  No.  70,  Upper  Agency,  McPherson, 
Frank  Wilkins,  teacher,  wages  $45,  enrolled 
47,  present  28,  poor  frame  building. 

District  No.  96,  McPherson,  J.  L.  Burgess, 
teacher,  wages  $37.50,  enrolled  22,  present  16, 
log  building. 

District  No.  71,  Medo  and  McPherson,  David 
Eastman,  teacher,  wages  $40,  enrolled  49,  pres- 
ent 28,  poor  log  building. 

District  No.  69,  Medo,  T.  A.  Leighton, 
teacher,  wages  $30,  enrolled  27,  present  18, 
poor    frame    building. 

District  No.  58,  Medo,  B.  F.  Stedman, 
teacher,  wages  $36.25,  enrolled  34,  present  26, 
primitive  log  building,  sixth  term  for  this 
teacher  at  this  school. 

District  No.  61,  Medo,  James  Patterson, 
teacher,  wages  $35,  enrolled  40,  present  24, 
good  frame  building. 

District     No.     124,     McPherson,     Miss    Eliza 


Wilson,    teacher,    wages   $30,    enrolled    19,  pres- 
ent 20,  good  frame  building. 

District  No.  69,  McPherson,  Julius  L.  Daw- 
ley,  teacher,  wages  $35,  enrolled  26,  present  20, 
good  frame  building. 

District  No.  57,  Medo,  Mr.  Abner,  teacher, 
not  in   session. 

District  No.  59,  Medo,  Miss  Helen  Comstock 
teacher,  not  in  session. 

District  No.  33,  Sterling,  Miss  Abbington 
DeWolf  teacher,  wages  $30,  enrolled  26,  pres- 
ent 13,  frame  building,  out  of  repair,  used  to 
be  for  years  one  of  the  best  districts,  but  had 
been   weakened  by   loss   of   territory. 

District  No.  102,  Sterling,  P.  V.  Goff,  teacher, 
wages  $40,  enrolled  38,  present  23,  log  house. 

District  No.  36,  Mapleton,  Wm.  Plymat 
teacher,  wages  $28.50,  enrolled  21,  frame  build- 
ing  out   of  repair. 

District  No.  34,  Mapleton,  Miss  Mary  A. 
Dobie,  teacher,  wages  $30,  enrolled  40,  present 
20,   large  frame  building. 

District  No.  105,  Mapleton  Station,  Miss 
Nettie  Lambie,  teacher,  wages  $35,  enrolled 
37,  present  24,  good  frame  building. 

District  No.  30,  Sterling,  Miss  Rebecca  Dobie, 
teacher,  wages  $30,  enrolled  50,  present  33, 
large  frame  building. 

District  No.  31,  Sterling  Center,  Miss  Viola 
Hill,  teacher,  wages  $35,  enrolled  36,  present 
25,  very  poor  frame  building. 

District  No.  54,  Sterling,  Allen  Benedict, 
■Leacher,  wages  $40,  enrolled  14,  present  11, 
poor   log   building. 

District  No.  102,  Sterling,  W.  H.  Butler, 
teacher,  wages  $38,  enrolled  42,  present  33, 
poor  log  building,  one  of  best  schools  in  county. 

District  No.  Il2,  Shelby,  Merrit  Turner, 
teacher,  good  frame  building,  small  school  and 
backward. 

District  No.  24,  Village  of  Vernon  Center, 
Miss  Nettie  M.  Crane,  teacher,  good  school. 

District  No.  77,  South  Bend  Township, 
Franklin  Ensign,  teacher,  wages  $35,  enrolled 
22,   present  6,   poor  log  building. 

The  following  districts  were  visited  in  June, 
1873.  We  give  first  number  of  district,  where 
located,  name  of  teacher,  number  of  scholars, 
enrolled,    and   lastly   kind   of   school    house: 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


No.  4,  South  Bend  Village,  B.  Ferrick,  $40, 
40,  good  frame  built  last  year. 

No.  133,  Garden  City,  Miss  Lulu  E.  Green- 
wood, $35,  14. 

No.  20,  Butterfield  Mill,  Alice  J.  Crane, 
$27,  32. 

No.  14,  Ceresco,  Miss  Lizzie  J.  Delany,  $35, 
26. 

No.  74,  Ceresco,  Miss  Myra  Sharratt,  $25,  15. 

No.  83,  Pleasant  Mound,  Mrs.  J.  B.  Mc- 
Donald, $16.67,  35. 

No.  Ill,  Pleasant  Mound,  j\Iiss  Abbie  L. 
Price,  $32,  18. 

No.  106,  Garden  City,  Miss  Mary  J.  Ply- 
mat,  $30. 

No.  56,  Mapleton,  Miss  Flora  Annis,  $19,  18. 

No.  35,  Mapleton,  Miss  Maggie  Hanna,  $24 
and  board,  33. 

No.  95,  Beauford,  Miss  Anna  Uhleg,  $25, 
36,  very  poor  log  building. 

No.  89,  Lincoln,  Miss  Lou  Boughton,  $30, 
40,  brick. 

No.     15,  Lincoln,  F.  A.  Mosher,  $28,  25. 

No.  119,  Lincoln,  Miss  Katie  Meixell,  $28, 
24. 

No.     115,    Butternut    Valley,     Miss     Anna 
Lloyd,  $38,  33. 

No.  13,  Butternut  Valley,  Frank  Piper,  $30, 
29. 

No.  144,  Butternut  Valley,  Miss  Mary  C. 
Jones,  $23,  45. 

No.  78,  Butternut  Valley,  Miss  Maggie  Bow- 
en,  $28,  38. 

No.  11,  Cambria,  G.  H.  Claggat,  $35,  64, 
large    frame. 

No.  99,  Judson,  Miss  Lizzie  Williams,  $26, 
39,    frame. 

No.  85,  Judson,  Miss  Tryphena  Lewis,  $28, 
46,  frame. 

During  the  winter  of  1872-3  a  large  number 
of  lodges  of  Patrons  of  Husbandry  (or 
"Granges,"  as  they  were  generally  called)  were 
organized  all  over  the  county.  Major  A.  J. 
ilurphy  was  perhaps  the  most  active  in  form- 
ing them.  No  society  ever  grew  more  rapidly 
among  our  people  than  this  farmers'  associa- 
tion. In  a  few  months  it  had  spread  into 
every  township  and  neighborhood  in  the  county. 
On    April    18,    1873,    a    council    of    the  •  Blue 


Earth  County  Granges  met  at  Lake  Crystal, 
and  a  series  of  market  or  fair  days  were  estab- 
lished as  follows :  Lake  Crystal  in  May,  Gar- 
den City  in  June,  Mankato  in  July,  and  Good 
Thunder  in  October.  On  July  4th  of  this  year 
monster  celebrations  were  held  by  these  farmer 
clubs  at  Lake  Cr\'stal  and  Mapleton.  The 
lodges  participating  in  the  Lake  Crystal  pro- 
gram were :  Lake  Crystal,  Madoc,  Gopher, 
Albion,  Watonwan,  Lincoln,  Winger,  Garden 
City,  Ceresco,  Eapidan,  Hebron,  Eureka,  Hes- 
peridan.  Butternut,  Castle  Garden,  Cambria, 
and  Sterling.  Between  1,000  and  1,200  mem- 
bers marched  in  the  procession,  all  dressed  in 
their  regalia.  This  consisted  of  a  Nankeen 
pouch  or  bag  tied  on  the  right  side,  a  picture 
of  a  plow  (the  emblem  of  the  order)  on  the 
flap,  and  beneath,  the  name  and  number  of 
the  lodge.  A  sash  of  the  same  material  trim- 
med with  red  tape  was  worn  across  the  breast, 
and  in  case  of  officers  an  initial  letter  indi- 
cating the  position  was  worn  on  the  sash.  The 
lady  members  wore  pretty  white  aprons  and 
sashes,  both  trimmed  with  red  tape,  and  gen- 
erally they  were  dressed  in  white.  Each  grange 
in  the  procession  was  headed  by  its  officers  and 
carried  banners  and  flags  appropriately  in- 
scribed. Col.  J.  H.  Stevens,  editor  of  the 
"Farmers'  Union,"  was  orator  of  the  day  at 
Lake  Crystal.  At  Mapleton  the  grangers  were 
also  out  in  force.  About  1.200  to  1,500  per- 
sons were  present  there  and  Maj.  A.  C.  Woolfork 
of    Mankato    delivered   the    address. 

The  matter  of  building  the  two  railroads, 
one  from  Mankato  to  Wells,  and  the  other  up 
the  Blue  Earth  from  Mankato  to  Blue  Earth 
City,  were  very  live  issues  again  this  year.  On 
February  27,  1873,  Lyra  voted  $15,000  bonus 
to  the  Wells  road  by  a  majority  of  one  in  a 
poll  of  107.  April  1,  Mankato  voted  $70,000 
in  bonus  to  the  Wells  road  and  $35,000  to 
the  Blue  Earth  City  branch.  April  Srd,  Maple- 
ton voted  $12,500  bonus  to  the  Wells  Eailway. 
These  amounts  were  in  lieu  of  the  former 
bonuses  voted  a  year  or  two  before,  which  had 
in  some  way  fallen  tliroup:]!.  Beauford  and 
^^I.ankato  townships  defeated  their  bonus  prop- 
ositions ;  but  this  only  resulted  in  a  little  more 
agitation  and  another  election,  when  a  favor- 
able vote  was  secured. 


178  HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 

The  deep  snow  of  the  previous  winter  brought  not   the   only   fakir   they  met.     There   was  the 

the   usual   floods    in   the   spring    and   the   mills  "Norway    Oats"    man,    the    "Eed    Osaka"    and 

along   the   Watonwan   and   Blue   Earth    suffered  "Lost   Nation"   wheat   men,    and   this    and  that 

greatly,   and  many   of  the  owners   rendered   al-  potato    wonder,    which    were    worth    a    fortune 

most  bankrupt  by   their  losses.  when    bought,    but    of    little    value    thereafter. 

About  the  first  of  June,  1873,  a  German  But  a  worse  foe  was  at  hand  than  the  Blue 
newspaper  called  the  "Mankato  Beobachter"  Earth  County  farmer  had  ever  met  before. 
(Observer)  was  started  by  Ludwig  Schramm.  In  August,  1873,  the  grasshoppers  began  to 
During  the  same  month  a  new  postoffice  was  rppear  in  the  Northwest  towns  of  the  county 
established  in  McPherson,  under  the  name  of  in  large  numbers  and  at  once  began  their 
"Belleview"  with  J.  D.  Hawkins  as  postmaster,  work  of  destruction.  Much  damage  was  done 
and  the  name  of  "Speier"  postoffice  changed  to  in  these  towns  to  late  crops  this  year,  but  we 
"Eagle  Lake,"  and  H.  Bosard,  who  kept  a  shall  hear  more  about  them  later, 
store  near  the  railway  station  of  that  name,  ap-  In  September,  1873,  an  unfortunate  trouble 
pointed  postmaster.  Another  postofEice  was  arose  in  the  Normal  School  over  the  action  of 
established  in  December  at  Vernon  Center  by  the  board  in  superceding  Miss  J.  A.  Sears,  who 
the  name  of  "Mj^rna"  with  Thos.  Perkins  as  had  acted  as  superintendent  for  a  year.  Thirty- 
postmaster,  service  to  begin  January  1st,   1874.  six  students  took  Miss  Sears'  part  and  seceded 

Statistics    gathered    by    the    assessors    showed  from    the   school,   breaking  up   its   work   badly, 

that  in  1872   there  were   3,166   farms  in   Blue  Miss    Sears   was    a    very    capable    woman,    and 

Earth    County,     54,305     acres     were     sowed    to  had   filled   the   position   of   superintendent   with 

wheat,    from   which    949,318   bushels   were   pro-  great    acceptance,     especially    to    the    students, 

dueed,    16,081    acres    to    oats,    which    produced  The   latter,  therefore,  protested  most  vigorously 

537,447  bushels,  7,393  acres  of  corn,  which  pro-  against    the    action    of    the    Normal    Board    in 

duced  390,394  bushels.     Within  the  ten  or  fif-  turning    her    down    simply   because    she    was    a 

teen    years    just    past    great    improvements    had  woman,    and  putting  a   man   at  the  head.     In 

been  made  in  farm  machinery.     When  the  pio-  those   days   the  school   had   a  large   number  of 

neers  of  our  county  began  raising  farm  products  voung    men     among    its    patrons,     and    amon^ 

all  grain  had  to  be  sowed  bv  hand  and  cut  with  them   some  strong  characters  like  C.   H.   Piper 

a  cradle,  then   came  the  old  hand  rake  reaper,  and  Frank  Piper  and  a  number  of  others.  They 

and  after  it  the  selfrake  reaper  and  the  dropper,  nossessed    independent    thought    and    were    not 

By    1872    and    1873    other    improvements    came,  afraid  to  stand  bv  their  convictions.     The  most 

in  the  way  of  seeders  for  sowing,  and  harvesters  of    the    bovs    never    returned    to    the    Mankato 

to  cut  and  bind  the  ripened  grain,  two  men  be-  Normal,  hut  some  got  into  business  and  others 

ing   carried   alon?  with   the   machine   to   tie   up  went    to    Carleton    College    and    other    schools, 

the    bundles.      These    labor    saving    contrivances  The    newly    elected    president    of    the    Normal, 

enabled    the    farmers    to    greatly    enlarge    their  Prof.  John,  thouarh  he  was  in  no  way  to  blame, 

fields.     A  list  of  the   reapinEc  machines  sold   in  found   the   position   in   which    circumstances   put 

our  county  in  1873  will  indicate  how  extensive  him  rather  awkward,   and  resigned  after  a  few 

the  competition  in  such  machinery  was.     It  in-  years. 

eluded  the  McCormick.  Marsh  Harvester,  Kirby,  During  the  winter  of  1873-4  a  lecture  course 
Excelsior  Dropper,  Massillion  Harvester,  Buck-  was  srotten  up  at  Mankato.  which  brought 
eve,  Osborne.  Woods  Peaners.  Edwards,  Esterlv.  thither  for  two  or  three  winters  some  of  the 
Advance  Harvester,  J.  P.  Manny  Peaper.  and  best  talent  in  the  country.  Snrh  stars  as  Hon. 
Madison  Harvester.  The  debts  incurred  in  buy-  Geo.  S.  Boutwell.  Mary  A.  Livermore,  Men- 
ins:  such  costly  machinery  and  the  hazzards  of  delsohn  Club  of  Boston,  Wendell  Phillips,  and 
■^heat  raising  drove  many  a  venturous  farmer  Gen.  Kilpatrick,  who  appeared  the  first  season, 
en  the  financial  rocks,  hut  others  were  more  and  Bavard  Taylor,  John  'B.  Gousrh,  Henrv 
fortunate.      Then   the    lightning   rod    man    was  Ward    Beecher,    Eev,    Edward    Eggleston,    Hon. 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  BAETH  COUi^TY. 


179 


Henry  Wilson,   Carl  Sehurz,  Dr.   John  G.   Hol- 
land,  Helen   Potter    and    others    followed. 

During  1873  the  Mankato  Driving  Park  Asso- 
ciation was  formed  and  secured  grounds  on  the 
Brooks  farm  just  north  of  Mankato,  where  the 
admirers  of  good  horses  had  many  a  meet. 

The  first  directory  of  Mankato  was  published, 
also,  this  year.  The  Winona  and  St.  Peter 
Eailway  Company  passed  through  the  best  tim- 
ber region  in  the  county  and  the  wood  and 
lumber  business  of  the  road  at  once  became  an 
important  factor.  During  January,  1874,  20,000 
cords  of  wood  were  delivered  along  the  line  of 
the  road.  But  we  shall  have  more  to  say  about 
this  industry  later. 

On  Feb.  1,  1874,  an  important  change  took 
place  in  the  affairs  of  the  Catholic  Church  of 
Mankato.  An  agreement  was  entered  into  be- 
tween the  church  and  the  Jesuit  Brotherhood, 
whose  headquarters  in  this  country  is  at  Buffalo, 
N.  Y.,  whereby  the  latter  were  put-  in  charge  of 
the  services  of  the  church.  The  parish  had 
grown  too  great  for  a  single  pastor,  and  it  was 
a  wise  plan  to  put  it  into  the  hands  of  an  order, 
who  could  supply  all  the  men  necessary  to  do  the 
work  properly. 

The  people  who  settled  our  county  were  a  re- 
ligious people  and  they  built  alters  to  the  God 
of  their  fathers  in  every  community.  They  were 
divided  into  many  nationalities,  and  religious  de- 
nominations, but  on  the  whole  all  possessed  the 
virtues  of  a  noble  Christian  character.  Our 
population  as  a  class,  both  American  and  For- 
eign, was  made  up  of  the  salt  of  the  earth,  men 
who  feared  God  and  worked  righteousness.  Of 
the  many  churches  and  schools  they  founded  and 
built  we  shall  speak  more  in  detail,  in  the  annals 
of  the  various  towns.  We  may  note,  however, 
that  in  the  early  70's  the  land  had  been  mostly 
divided  among  the  various  tribes  and  national- 
ities'. The  north  half  of  the  city  of  Mankato 
together  with  Mankato  and  Lime  Townships, 
were  settled  almost  wholly  by  Germans,  mostly 
of  the  Catholic  faith.  Some  Lutherans,  Turners, 
Evangelical  and  Methodists  were  sprinkled  among 
them,  their  numbers  corresponding  to  the  order 
named.  In  McPherson,  Mapleton,  and  the  north 
half  of  Beauford  the  German  Catholics  predomi- 
nated,   with    many    German    Lutherans    among 


them  and  a  few  Methodists.  In  Lyra,  Eapidan 
and  Decoria  the  German  Lutherans  predominat- 
ed, but  there  was  quite  a  number  of  German 
Catholics  among  them,  especially  in  Lyra.  Dan- 
ville was  now  fast  becoming  a  German  town. 
They  were  mostly  of  the  Methodist  and  Luth- 
eran faith,  but  had  a  large  and  influential  Cath- 
olic element  in  the  southern  part  of  the  town. 
Pleasant  Mound  and  the  north  half  of  Ceresco 
was,  also,  fast  becoming  a  solid  settlement  of 
German  Lutherans.  The  towns  of  South  Bend, 
Judson,  Cambria  and  the  north  half  of  Butter- 
nut Valley  were  occupied  by  the  Welsh  very 
early.  Lake  Crystal  and  Mankato  also  contained 
many  of  this  nationality.  They  were  mostly  Cal- 
vinistic  Methodists,  a  denomination  nearly  allied 
to  the  Presbyterians.  This  denomination  had 
seven  or  eight  churches  among  them,  the  Con- 
gregationalist  two,  and  there  were  a  few  Bap- 
tist and  Wesleyan  families.  The  Norwegians 
were  occupying  the  south  half  of  Butternut  Val- 
ley and  the  northwest  portion  of  Lincoln,  the 
west  half  of  Sterling  and  some  of  the  east  part 
of  Shelbj',  the  most  of  Medo,  a  strip  along  the 
west  end  of  Eapidan,  and  the  portions  of  Eapi- 
dan and  Decoria,  which  lie  in  the  vicinity  of 
\he  mouths  of  the  Maple  and  Cobb  rivers.  Quite 
a  number  of  them  also  reside  at  Lake  Crystal 
and  Mankato.  They  too  are  a  very  religious 
people  and  belong  almost  exclusively  to  the 
Lutheran  faith  and  have  many  churches.  Among 
them,  as  among  the  Germans,  there  are  two 
synods  of  the  Lutheran  church,  which 
nearly  amount  to  two  denominations.  The 
old  doctrine  of  the  Free  Will  is  really  at 
the  bottom  of  their  differences.  In  the  south- 
east comer  of  Lincoln  and  dipping  over  a 
little  into  Garden  City  a  colony  of  Swedish 
Baptists  had  located.  On  the  Judson  bot- 
tom were  a  few  Swedish  Lutherans,  while  at 
the  City  of  Mankato  many  Swedish  people  reside. 
The  majority  are  of  the  Lutheran  faith,  but 
the  Congregational,  Baptist  and  M.  E.  have 
churches  among  them.  The  Irish  took  posses- 
sion of  Jamestown,  of  the  northerly  portion  of 
Ceresco,  of  the  southwest  comer  of  Lyra,  a  strip 
on  the  line  between  Beauford  and  Lyra  and  the 
northwest  corner  of  DanviUe.  Mankato  contains, 
also,  quite  a  number  of  the  Sons  and  Daughters 


180 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


of  Erin;  while  McPhxerson  and  other  towns  have 
a  few  families.  As  a  rule  they  are  of  the  Catho- 
lic faith.  In  the  eastern  part  of  Sterling,  and 
crossing  the  line  into  Mapleton  and  in  Mapleton 
Village  and  with  a  few  scattering  families  in 
Beanford,  the  trihe  of  Scotland  might  be  found. 
Garden  City,  Vernon  Center  and  Shelby  were 
mostly  settled  by  Americans  and  a  majority  of 
the  other  towns  haJ  more  or  less  American  set- 
tlers. These  lines  of  demarkation  between  the 
various  nationalities  still  remain  quite  distinct, 
but  already  intermarriage,  the  public  schools,  the 
press,  the  demands  of  business  are  beginning  to 
beat  down  the  lines  of  separation  and  before  long 
all  will  be  welded  into  a  homogenous  whole,  the 
future  American. 

During  the  early  70's  there  was  much  activity 
throughout  the  county  in  Sunday  school  matters, 
and  conventions  were  held  each  year.  A  report, 
not  far  from  being  complete  so  far  as  the  Eng- 
lish speaking  schools  were  concerned,  and  cov- 
ering a  few  of  the  foreign  schools,  showed  there 
were  in  the  county,  fifty-three  Sunday  schools, 
four  hundred  and  forty-one  officers  and  teachers 
and  two  thousand  five  hundred  and  sixty  scholars. 

In  March,  1874,  the  Mankato  Woolen  Manu- 
facturing Company  was  organized  by  Christian 
Eoos,  Jacob  Bierbauer,  A  ISTeumayer,  Thos.  Ben- 
nett and  J.  P.  Meagher. 

The  summer  of  1874  was  very  dry  and  windy 
and  many  fires  caused  thereby  and  much  &ax 
burned.  The  establishment  of  the  oil  mill  at 
Mankato  had  greatly  encouraged  the  production 
of  flax  all  over  the  county. 

The  grasshoppers  were  quite  numerous  this 
year  in  the  northwestern  portion  of  the  county 
and  fully  half  of  the  crops  were  destroyed  by 
them.  A  severe  hailstorm  in  June  swept  through 
Cambria,  Butternut  Valley  and  Judson  and  took 
about  all  the  grasshoppers  had  not  yet  had 
time  to  finish. 

The  grangers  held  another  big  celebration  on 
July  4th  of  this  year  at  Good  Thunder,  where 
Hon.  William  Windom  was  the  orator. 

About  the  last  of  July,  1874,  the  first  load  of 
iron  was  received  for  the  Wells  road  and  the 
work  of  laying  the  track  began.  By  September 
29th,  daily  trains  were  running  to  Good  Thun- 
der and  on  November  17,  1874,  a  celebration  of 


the  completion  of  the  road  to  Wells  was  held. 
Other  events  of  the  year  at  Mankato  were:  The 
building  of  Turner's  hall  (afterwards  called 
Union  Hall  and  now  transformed  to  the  Hein- 
rich  Hotel),  and  the  sale  of  the  "Mankato  Un- 
ion" on  September  11th  by  W.  B.  Griswold  to 
J.  K.  Cleveland,  and  of  the  Beobaehter  by 
Schramm  to  J.  M.  Broome  of  New  Ulm.  The 
city,  also,  entered  in  September  into  a  contract 
with  a  Chicago  firm,  named  Spangler,  Marrs 
and  Miller,  to  sink  an  artesian  well  four  inches 
in  diameter.  The  well  was  dug  to  depth  of 
2,204  feet  and  then  abandoned.  Had  it  been 
properly  cased  and  cared  for,  it  doubtless  would 
have  been  successful.  It  was  one  of  the  deepest 
holes  ever  dug  in  the  State,  and  was  therefore  of 
considerable  interest  to  the  geologist.  The  water 
rose  in  it  within  71%  feet  of  the  top,  but  a  leak 
occurred  near  this  point.  It  cost  the  city 
$12,000  to  dig  it,  and  $1,568  was  paid  for  the 
land,  which  today  constitutes  Highland  Park. 

In  June,  1874,  Mankato  voted  $10,000  bonds 
to  build  the  Eranklin  school  house.  Garden  City 
also  built  during  the  summer  a  new  two  story 
school  building. 

The  assessors  returns  for  June,  1874,  showed 
the  following  live  stock  statistics:  Horses,  7,007; 
cattle,  16,065;  sheep,  6,153,  hogs,  5,186.  There 
were  42,010  apple  trees  growing  in  the  county 
and  820  bushels  of  apples  raised  and  5,980 
pounds  of  grapes.  In  1875  Blue  Earth  County 
ranked  fifth  in  the  State  in  dairy  produce  and 
was  first  in  the  production  of  honey,  having  702 
hives  and  15,666  pounds  of  honey.  It,  also, 
raised  the  most  com  of  any  county,  amounting 
to   457,991   bushels. 

At  the  November  election  Judge  F.  H.  Waite, 
who  had  resigned  his  position  as  District  Judge,- 
in  order  to  run  for  Congress  as  an  Independent 
candidate,  was  beaten  by  M.  H.  Dunnell,  the 
Eepublican  nominee,  but  by  a  majority  of  only 
2,986,  which  was  about  one-third  the  usual  fig- 
ure. D.  A.  Dickinson,  the  Eepublican  nominee, 
was  elected  Judge  of  the  District  Court,  over 
Daniel  Buck.  The  Democrats  succeeded  in 
electing  their  share  of  the  county  officers. 

During  1874  ten  new  school  houses  were  built 
in  the  county  at  a  cost  of  $21,216,  showing  the 
growth   of   educational   facilities. 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


181 


The  saw  mill  industry  of  the  county  was  now 
nearly  at  its  best.  The  great  timber  section 
covering  its  northeast  quarter  was  full  of  saw 
mills.  The  Dickinson  mill  by  Hoosier  Lake, 
the  Fredericks  and  Hodapp  mill,  and  the  Whit- 
rock  mill  in  the  vicinity  of  the  poor  farm,  the 
Bennett  and  Harvey  mill  at  Tivoli,  the  Morse 
mill  on  outlet  of  Lake  Madison,  the  Woodham 
Mill,  owned  then  by  Burgess  &  Picket  on  the 
outlet  of  Eagle  Lake,  the  Lamphear  mill  on  In- 
dian Lake  in  LeEay,  the  Stokes  mill  at  Smith's 
Mill,  the  Forster  mill  at  north  end  of  Eagle 
Lake,  the  Saylor  mill  in  Jamestown,  the  Boegen 
mill  at  Mankato,  the  two  mills  at  Winnebago 
Agency,  one  or  two  at  Eagle  Lake  and  many 
others  that  do  not  now  occur  to  us  were  busy 
manufacturing  lumber.  Eagle  Lake  was  now 
beginning  to  be  somewhat  of  a  village,  the  prin- 
cipal center  of  the  wood  and  lumber  business. 
In  January,  1874,  a  newspaper  was  started  there 
by  A.  H.  Wheeler,  under  the  name  of  "The 
Golden  Prize"  which  ran  for  about  a  year  and 


then  was  sold  under  the  sheriS's  hammer  to 
Horace  Cummins. 

In  February,  1875,  a  new  post  ofEice  was 
created  at  Mapleton  station  with  the  old  pioneer, 
Eobert  Taylor,  as  postmaster.  Early  in  August 
another  postofEice  was  created  in  Medo,  called 
"Little  Cobb,"  with  Wm.  Germo  as  postmaster. 

On  March  1st,  1874,  the  Welsh  held  one  of 
their  big  "Eisteddfod's"  at  Turners  Hall,  Man- 
kato. This  is  a  literary  and  musical  festival 
of  a  competitive  character,  usually  held  once  a 
year.  It  had  been  held  for  two  or  three  years 
before  this.  On  March  17th,  the  Irish  brother- 
hood celebrated  St.  Patricks  day  at  Mankato 
with  a  good  literary  program. 

During  this  year  the  Catholics  under  the  lead- 
ership of  the  Jesuit  brotherhood,  always  active 
in  educational  work,  built  their  fine  school  build- 
ing at  Mankato.  It  is  of  brick,  150  feet  long  by 
60  feet  wide,  and  three  stories  high.  It  was 
completed  by  October  1,  1876,  and  dedicated 
with  appropriate  exercises  by  Bishop  Ireland. 


SC800t-3>lST.NSlo9-RftPiO«N  OJOODraeWS  HftLL-RflPIDAW  seRmflN  t(JT«fcRfl«  CHURCH-RftPlDflM 


Nonajeoiftri  (.uthcraN  church 


CHAPTER  XIX. 

THE  GRASSHOPPEKS— EVENTS  OF  1876-7 

—THE  WINTER  OE  1881-2  AND  THE 

BIG  ELOOD. 


Tiie  winter  of  1874-5  was  yery  cold  with  deep 
snow,  and  the  high  water  in  AprU  again  did 
great  havoc  to  the  water  mills,  especially  along 
the  Watonwan.  The  flour  mills  of  Butterfield  & 
Co.,  Capwell  &  Co.,  Quayle  &  Eriend,  Willard 
&  Rodgers,  Hopkins  &  Dilly  and  others  suffered 
several  thousand  dollars  in  damages. 

With .  the  opening  of  spring  the  grasshoppers 
began  hatching  in  countless  millions  over  most 
of  the  west  half  of  the  county  and  it  was  evi- 
dent that  the  crops  in  that  section  were  again 
doomed.  It  was  getting  to  be  a  serious  question 
what  to  do  to  rid  the  country  of  this  scare.  On 
the  3rd  of  June,  1875,  the  County  Commissioners 
met  and  passed  a  resolution  offering  a  bounty 
of  ten  cents  a  quart  for  all  grasshoppers  caught 
and  brought  to  designated  places  in  each  town 
to  be  measured  and  destroyed.  The  people  went 
to  work  with  a  will,  with  all  sorts  of  contrivances 
for  catching  the  pests.  The  most  common  plan 
was  to  rig  a  large  net  with  sheets  tacked  to  a 
light  frame  work,  which  was  pushed  over  the 
field  by  hand  or  dragged  by  one  horse.  The 
farmers  found  they  had  a  snap.  Some  were 
making  -  over  $30.00  per  day.  In  three  days 
over  4,000  bushels  were  caught  and  $14,000  had 
been  paid  out.  Monday  morning,  June  7th,  the 
County  Commissioners  were  hurriedly  called  to- 
gether, for  at  such  a  rate  the  county  would  soon 
be  bankrupt.  The  bounty  was  now  cut  one  half, 
but  the  farmers  were  bringing  in  such  an  enor- 
mous quantity  of  hoppers,  that  the  board  was 
obliged  on  June  11th  to  cut  the  price  to  sixty  cents 
per  bushel,  and  on  June  12  to  withdraw  the 
bounty  altogether.  In  nine  days  the  County 
had  paid  $31,255.66  for  15,766  bushels  and 
eighteen  quarts  of  grasshoppers.  It  was  esti- 
mated that  each  bushel  contained  on  an  average 


130,000  hoppers.  The  station  at  Garden  City 
issued  the  largest  amount  of  orders  $5,727.78, 
the  city  of  Mankato  came  next  with  $4,606.16, 
Judson  $4,404.48,  South  Bend  $3,916.75.  James- 
town only  paid  out  thirty  cents,  McPherson 
$6.38  and  Beauford  $1.10,  showing  the  eastern 
towns  were  not  much  infected.  At  Mankato  the 
place  for  receiving  the  grasshoppers  was  about 
where  the  city  hall  now  stands.  A  large  vat 
of  boiling  water  was  kept  in  readiness,  into 
A\hich  the  bags-full  of  hoppers  were  emptied  for 
their  destruction,  and  their  carcasses  were  then 
dumped  into  a  long  trench,  which  had  been 
dug  close  by  for  their  burial.  In  spite  of  this 
wholesale  destruction  of  the  pest,  it  did  not  seem 
to  diminish  their  number  in  the  least.  Bounty 
or  no  bounty  the  farmers  made  a  desperate  and 
heroic  struggle  to  save  their  crops.  Trenches 
were  dug  about  fields,  which  had  not  yet  been 
infested,  in  the  hope  that  the  young  hoppers 
could  not  pass  over,  a  stream  of  tar  was  poured 
about  them.  Infected,  fields  were  covered  with  a 
tliin  coating  of  dry  straw  and  burned,  brine  was 
sprinkled  over  them,  a  machine  called  the  "hop- 
per dozer''  v,-as  invented  and  put  upon  the  mar- 
ket, and  home  made  devises  of  all  sorts  were  used 
and  the  insects  caught  and  destroyed  by  the  bil- 
lions, but  all  availed  nothing.  The  very  dust 
seemed  alive  with  the  pest.  Rapidan  called  a 
lown  meeting  on  June  35,  and  voted  $1,500.00 
to  be  used  in  the  destruction  of  grasshoppers 
within  its  boundaries.  But  every  effort  was  in 
vain,  the  larger  part  of  the  crops  in  the  wes- 
tern half  of  the  county  were  entirely  destroyed. 
They  completely  covered  every  green  thing. 
The  trees  were  full  of  them,  the  very  houses  were 
plastered  with  them,  one  could  not  step  anywhere 
without    crushing    them    under    foot,    and    they 


183 


184 


HISTOKY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


would  crawl  into  one's  clothing.  It  was  indeed 
an  Egyptian  plague.  The  chickens  ate  them  but 
they  affected  the  eggs,  flavoring  and  discolor- 
ing them,  the  birds  and  the  hogs  also  feasted  upon 
them,  but  nothing  diminishing  their  number. 
As  the  summer  advanced  they  gained  their 
wings  and  the  air  was  full  of  them,  some  days 
almost  hiding  the  sun.  During  the  fall  they  laid 
their  eggs  far  and  wide  over  this  and  adjoin- 
ing counties.  Many  farmers  plowed  their  fields 
and  then  dragged  them  thoroughly  in  the  hope 
of  destroying  the  eggs.  The  winter  of  18'i'5-6 
was  rather  mild  and  it  was  thought  that  the  al- 
ternate thawing  and  freezing  would  have  a  bale- 
ful effect  upon  them.  All  winter  long  pans  of 
earth  were  carried  into  the  houses  to  experiment 
v/ith,  but  every  test  showed  the  pest  to  be  as  vir- 
ulent as  ever.  The  counties  of  Kicollet,  Brown, 
'Watonwan  and  many  others  were  devastated  fully 
as  much,  and  even  more  than  Blue  Earth.  The 
Legislature  in  February,  1876,  passed  a  bill  ap- 
propriating $15,637.83  to  reimburse  Blue  Earth 
County  for  bounty  paid  for  destruction  of  grass- 
ho|)pers.  Bills  were  also  passed  for  the  relief  of 
the  farmers  in  the  matter  of  seed  wheat. 

While  most  of  the  farmers  seeded  their  land 
again,  some  refrained,  deeming  it  useless.  The 
grasshoppers  were  fully  as  numerous  as  ever  dur- 
ing the  summer  of  1876,  and  nearly  all  of  the 
west  half  of  the  county  was  devastated  by  them, 
as  well  as  all  the  country  to  the  westward.  The 
people  again  waged  a  heroic  fight  in  defense  of 
iheir  fields,  but  to  no  avail.  Conventions  and- 
town  meetings  were  held  to  discuss  ways  and 
means  for  ridding  the  country  of  the  terrible 
scourge.  The  preservation  of  the  birds,  the  rais- 
ing of  more  chickens,  the  cultivation  of  a  small 
red  parasite,  and  the  destruction  of  the  eggs, 
were  among  the  principal  remedies  proposed. 
October  10,  1876,  the  town  of  Shelby  voted  to 
tax  each  man  three  days  work  in  plowing  and 
harrowing  the  ground  to  kill  the  eggs.  As  indi- 
cating li'^w  thick  the  grasshoppers  were,  a  train 
on  the  St.  Paul  and  Sioux  Eoad  on  July  18, 
1876,  was  stopped  by  them  near  Hersey  in  No- 
bles county,  the  wheels  and  rails  had  become  so 
smeared  by  their  bodies  that  they  slipped  and 
bad  to  be  cleaned.  Trains  on  the  same  road 
were  stopped  in  Lime  town  in  Blue  Earth  county 


by  the  same  cause.  The  winter  of  1876-7  was 
very  mild  again,  and  a  number  of  farmers  sowed 
their  grain  in  February.  Hatching  grasshop- 
pers by  the  stove  was  the  principal  occupation 
of  this  winter  to  test  the  eggs,  and  to  see  if 
the  young  hoppers  were  as  healthy  as  their  pro- 
genitors and  to  discover  how  many  a  bushel  of 
earth  would  produce.  It  is  needless  to  say  that 
the  hoppers  stood    well  in  every  test. 

In  March,  1877,  the  Legislature  passed  a  bill 
giving  a  bounty  of  $1.00  per  bushel  for  grass- 
hoppers caught  prior  to  May  25,  fifty  cents 
for  all  caught  after  that  date  to  June  10,  twenty- 
five  cents  thereafter  to  July  1,  and  twenty  cents 
to  October.  Every  township  and  village  was, 
also,  authorized  to  levy  a  tax  for  the  de- 
struction of  the  pests,  and  every  male  inhabitant 
between  the  ages  of  twenty  and  sixty  years 
Avas  to  be  assessed  by  the  supervisors  one  day's 
work  for  each  week,  for  not  to  exceed  five  weeks, 
to  be  applied  under  the  direction  of  the  Path- 
masters  for  the  destruction  of  the  grasshoppers 
and  their  eggs.  The  work  to  be  done  much  after 
the  manner  of  our  poll  tax.  The  county  was 
also  authorized  to  employ  persons  having  patent 
machinery  for  killing  grasshoppers.  $100,000.00 
was  appropriated  to  carry  out  the  provisions  of 
the  act,  and  a  bill  passed  authorizing  a  state 
loan  for  the  purpose.  Bills  were  also  passed  for 
the  relief  of  grasshopper  sufferers,  who  were  un- 
able to  pay  taxes  or  pay  interest  on  state  lands. 

With  the  opening  of  Spring  (1877)  the  grass- 
hoppers appeared  as  numerous  as  ever.  In 
many  places  they  were  so  thick  that  they  might 
have  been  literally  shoveled  from  the  ground. 
Dry,  warm,  sandy  soil  was  their  preference. 
Many  farmers  desisted  from  sowing  their  lands, 
when  they  saw  them  hatching  out  again.  The 
people  though  discouraged,  still  kept  up  the  fight 
ivith  ditches,  wet  ashes,  and  fire,  gathering  them 
in  canvass  hoppers,  in  nets  smeared  on  the 
inside  with  tar,  and  with  "Hopper  dozers"  (a 
contrivance  made  of  sheet  iron  with  tar  inside). 
But  all  this  did  not  seem  to  diminish  the  num- 
ber. The  people  in  their  bitter  extremity  ap- 
pealed to  the  Governor  to  proclaim  a  day  of  fast- 
ing and  prayer  and  April  26,  1877,  was  duly 
appointed  as  such  a  day.  The  day  was  gen- 
erally   observed.      All    business    was    suspended 


HISTORY  OP  BLUB  EARTH  COUNTY. 


Ib5 


as  though  it  were  Sunday,  and  the  people  gath- 
ered in  their  churches  throughout  the  land. 
Earnest  appeals  were  made  for  Divine  help  by 
Catholic  and  Protestant  alike.  The  Catholic 
church  at  Mankato  prolonged  the  services  for 
three  days.  Whether  in  answer  to  prayer  or  from 
natural  causes,  it  is  a  singular  fact  that  after 
this  public  appeal  to  the  Almighty  the  grasshop- 
pers began  immediately  to  be  troabled.  Disease 
broke  out  among  them  and  many  died,  while 
others  were  stunted  in  their  growth.  There  were 
a  number  of  heavy  rains,  and  on  June  10, 
there  was  a  heavy  frost,  all  of  which  seemed 
lo  effect  the  locusts  unfavorably.  They  did  not 
attack  the  gardens  and  fields  with  anythiug  of 
their  old  time  vigor,  and  as  soon  as  their  wings 
were  developed,  on  June  23,  and  35,  1877,  the 
great  masses  of  them  arose  high  in  the  air  and 
flew  away,  no  one  ever  knew  whither.  The  com- 
paratively few  that  remained,  as  their  wings  de- 
veloped, did  likewise,  until  by  July  1,  nearly  all 
were  gone.  Still  on  sunny  days  the  air  con- 
tinued full  of  stragglers,  like  flakes  of  snow 
in  a  winter  storm  the  sky  would  swarm  with 
them  until  August.  Tor  flve  consecutive  years 
many  of  the  farmers  of  our  county  had  lost 
nearly  all  of  their  crops,  and  for  four  years 
the  most  of  the  western  half  and  portions  of 
the  eastern  half  had  been  completely  devastated 
by  this  awful  scourge.  That  their  departure  was 
a  direct  answer  to  prayer  may  not  be  positively 
affirmed,  but  neither  can  it  be  strongly  denied. 
To  say  the  least  there  was  a  singular  coincidence 
between  the  day  of  prayer  and  the  disappearance 
of  the  pest  so  soon  thereafter.  The  going  of  the 
destructive  hcrdes  was  a  great  relief  to  the  im- 
poverished people,  and  with  fresh  courage  they 
bravely  went  to  work  to  retrieve  their  shattered 
fortunes. 

Going  back  to  1876,  we  note  a  few  events  in 
our  history  beside  the  ravages  of  grasshoppers. 
Two  new  postoffices  were  created,  in  the  county 
this  year,  one  in  January  at  Rapidan  station, 
with  Noah  Webster  in  charge,  and  the  other 
in  July  at  the  home  of  Henry  Stiemagle  in 
Danville. 

On  February  23,  1876,  occurred  the  killing 
of  Mrs.  Jane  Gilbert  by  Andrew  Weston  in 
Medo,  which  resulted  in  a  hard  fought  murder 


trial  in  our  court.  Weston  was  finally  convicted 
and  sentenced  to  State  prison. 

Duriug  this  summer  the  caterpillar  pest  ap- 
peared in  the  tiiuber  area  of  LeEay,  Lime,  and 
Mankato  Townships,  and  much  of  the  foliage 
destroyed  by  them  and  some  of  the  trees  killed. 
They  continued  their  devastations  for  two  or 
three  years. 

It  being  centennial  year  a  big  Fourth  of  July 
celebration  was  held  at  Mankato.  The  Old  Sol- 
diers, the  Mankato  and  Owatonna  Fireman,  The 
Danish,  Swede,  and  Norwegian  societies,  were 
features,  in  the  parade,  and  senator  Wilkinson 
delivered  the  address.  There  was  an  immense 
crowd  present.  The  people  of  Pleasant  Mound 
and  vicinity  held  a  celebration  of  their  own,  at 
Wilder's    grove,    on    Willow    Creek. 

On  September  7,  1876,  occurred  the  Northfield 
Bank  robbery  by  the  James  and  Younger  gang. 
Tiiese  desperadoes  had  visited  Mankato  a  few 
days  before,  with  intent  of  looting  one  of  its 
banks.  In  their  retreat  they  passed  through 
our  county  and  were  seen  in  ilankato  Township 
by  G.  P.  Hoerr  and  Sebastian  Kopp.  They  cross- 
ed the  Blue  Earth  river  on  the  St.  Paul  and 
Omaha  railway  bridge  at  night,  while  a  posse 
Ai'as  guarding  the  wagon  bridge,  and  it  ^as  main- 
ly through  the  efforts  of  Capt.  A.  J.  j\[urphy  of 
Lake  Crystal,  that  they  were  finally  captured 
near  Madelia. 

In  the  fall  of  1876,  Henry  and  Fred  Boegen 
enlarged  their  saw  mill  at  the  city  of  Mankato. 
In  Mankato  township  Capt.  N.  W.  Dickerson 
transformed  his  saw  mill  into  a  large  new  steam 
saw  and  grist  mill,  which  under  the  name  of 
''White  Star  Mills''  rendered  good  service  for 
some    time. 

The  Burns  Celebration  in  Sterling,  and  St. 
Patricks  day  at  Mapleton  had  now  become  fixed 
feasts,  which  were   annually   observed. 

While  the  grange  movement  was  dying  out 
elsewhere  over  the  county,  it  still  continued  to 
flourish  in  Danville  and  Shelby  Townships.  The 
Shelbyville  grange  under  C.  W.  Herrman,  as 
master,  and  J.  F.  Stock,  as  secretary,  and  the 
Woodland  grange  under  F.  Berut  as  Master  and 
J.  A.  Lattimer  as  secretary  formed  a  trade  un- 
ion and  bought  most  of  their  goods  at  wholesale 
prices   of    Chicago   and    St.    Paul   houses,   A.    L. 


186 


HISTORY  OF  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


Stephens  acted  as  purchasing  agent  for  a  long 
time.  The  grange  organization  continued  actiye 
in  Danville,  also,  and  monthly  meetings  were  held 
at  Mr.  Thompson's  home.  They,  also,  were  reg- 
ular patrons  of  the  grange  supply  house  of  Chi- 
cago. 

During  the  seventies  there  was  a  strong  tem- 
perance sentiment  over  most  of  the  county.  Good 
Templar  lodges  flourished  in  every  village.  The 
Red  Ribbon  movement  started  about  1877,  and 
grew  rapidly  in  favor.  In  those  years  "No  li- 
cense" carried  a  number  of  times  in  Mapleton, 
Good  Thunder,  Winnebago  Agency  and  Lake 
Crystal  as  well  in  Eagle  Lake,  Garden  City  and 
Vernon. 

In  June,  1877,  the  proposition  to  settle  the 
old  State  Railway  bonds  of  1857  was  submitted 
to  the  voters.  Our  county  had  voted  against 
the  bonds  originally  and  now  defeated  the  settle- 
ment proposition  by  a  vote  of  2,259  to  511. 

In  the  fall  of  1877  Mankato  built  its  present 
City  hall  at  a  cost  of  $8,395.00.  Masonic  block  at 
Mankato  was  also  completed  and  the  hall  ded- 
icated. On  September  1,  1877,  Geo.  W.  Neff 
bought  the  "Mankato  Union"  of  W.  B.  Gris- 
wold,  and,  about  the  same  time,  A.  M.  Morrison 
(then  teaching  school  at  Eagle  Lake)  and  W. 
J.  Clark  purchased  of  Horace  Cummins  the 
printing  outfit,  which  had  belonged  to  Mr.  Wheel- 
er and  started  the  "Eagle  Lake  Independent," 
which  was  published  for  a  short  time. 

On  November  1,  1877,  within  five  minutes  of 
the  noon  hour  occurred  the  only  earth  quake 
shock  ever  felt  in  the  county.  The  fall  of  1877 
^\as  extremely  fine.  Farmers  were  plowing  on 
Christmas  day,  and  even  on  December  29,  a  num- 
ber of  neighbors  in  Jamestown  made  a  plow- 
ing bee  for  a  sick  friend.  The  weather  con- 
tinued very  mild  the  winter  through,  with 
hardly  any  snow.  Like  many  an  open  winter 
it  was  not  very  healthy.  The  small  pox  was  quite 
prevalent  over  the  county,  but  there  were  few 
fatalities,  as  the  disease  was  very  mild  in  cliai 
acter.  Much  more  deadly  was  the  epidemic  of 
diphtheria,  which  swept  over  the  county  during 
this  and  the  following  winter,  carrying  away 
scores  of  children  and  youth.  During  1879 
there   were   forty-nine   deaths   from   this   disease 


in  our  county,  in  1880  there  were  twenty-two, 
and   in   1881,  twenty-nine. 

On  February  23,  1878,  an  act  was  passed 
by  the  Legislature  incorporating  the  village  of 
Mapleton,  and  David  Smith,  James  E.  Brown 
and  L.  Troendle  were  authorized  to  call  the  first 
corporate  meeting.  This  was  done  for  March 
19,  when  the  following  officers  were  elected: 
President  of  Board  of  Trustees,  Joel  Gates; 
Trustees,  Lucius  Toendle,  James  McLaughlin 
and  C.  H.  Wicks;  Treasurer,  Sherman  Peet; 
Recorder,  P.  A.  Foster;  Justice,  C.  W.  Smith; 
Constable,  Henry  Tenney.  At  the  same  time 
the  village  became  an  independent  school  dis- 
trict and  built  a  new  school  house. 

An  important  event  for  the  city  of  Mankato 
and  our  county  was  the  erection  by  R.  D.  Hub- 
bard, Wm.  Pearson  and  George  M.  Palmer  of 
what  is  known  as  the  Hubbard  Flour  mill,  the 
ground  for  which  was  broken  on  April  22, 
1878,  and  the  mill  completed  October  1,  1879. 

During  this  summer  (1878)  John  6.  Graham 
built  at  Good  Thunder  his  hotel  and  hall. 

One  who  rendered  good  service  in  the  develop- 
ment of  band  music  in  the  county  was  Prof. 
Howe  of  Mankato.  During  the  seventies  he  or- 
ganized bands  at  Mapleton,  Good  Thunder,  Lake 
Crystal,  Mankato  and  other  points  in  the  county, 
and  did  much  in  training  the  musical  talent  of 
our  young  men.  Another  musical  genius,  who 
helped  to  develop  the  skill  of  our  young  people 
in  playing  upon  string  and  wind  instruments 
was  Wm.  Matthews.  Among  those  who  did 
much  in  cultivating  vocal  music  were:  in  the 
early  period,  Edward  Thomas  of  South  Bend, 
and  Edson  Gerry  of  Garden  City ;  and  in  the 
seventies.  Prof.  Brett,  A.  Neumayer  and  Wei- 
gel  of  Mankato. 

During  1878  there  was  much  immigration  in- 
to our  own  county,  and  the  counties  to  our  west. 
The  grasshopper  scourge  had  for  a  few  years 
stopped  entirely  the  tide  of  immigration,  but  now 
that  this  calamity  was  over  the  settlers  came  in 
larger  numbers  than  ever  before.  Eleven  Nor- 
wegian families  located  in  Medo  alone.  It  was 
no  uncommon  sight  to  see  one  hundred  canvass 
topped  wagons  passing  up  Front  street  in  one 
day.  The  spring  and  summer  of  1878  were  rather 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


187 


wet,  and  this,  coupled  with  the  fact  that  the 
land  had  been  given  a  long  rest  because 
of  the  grasshoppers,  caused  the  grain  to  grow  too 
rank  and  the  crop  this  year  was  small  in  quanti- 
ty and  poor  in  quality. 

In  June,  1878,  the  Sunday  schools  of  the 
southwest  portion  of  the  county  held  a  union 
picnic  at  ShelbyvUle,  and  on  July  4th,  an  old 
settler's  picnic  met  in  the  grove  of  Erastus  Eeed 
in  Shelby.  On  July  30,  1878,  a  number  of  the 
Good  Templar  lodges  held  a  large  picnic  at  the 
Ellis  grove  in  Sterling.  These  social  functions 
indicate  some  of  the  things  the  people  in  the 
south  part  of  our  county  were  then  interested  in. 

During  this  and  the  following  summer  there 
was  much  talk  and  agitation  over  the  proposi- 
tion of  the  St.  Paul  &  Sioux  City  Eailway  build- 
ing a  branch  from  some  point  on  their  main 
line  southward  through  Blue  Earth  City  to 
the  Iowa  line.  Mankato  wanted  this  branch 
to  start  from  her  gates,  and  pass  by  the  Eapidan 
water  power,  but  the  engineers'  survey  favored 
a  route  from  Lake  Crystal  as  much  more  prac- 
tical and  economical,  for  the  bit  of  country  be- 
tween Mankato  and  the  Eapidan  Mills  is  rather 
rugged  for  railroad  building.  The  proposi- 
tion to  give  this  branch  $10,000  bonus  was 
defeated  at  an  election  held  in  Shelby  on  July 
35,  1878,  by  a  vote  of  eighty  to  twenty-five 
mainly  because  of  the  uncertainty  as  to  whether 
the  depot  would  be  located  at  Shelbyville 
or  elsewhere.  After  this  the  railroad  authorities 
showed  no  great  interest  in  the  project  during 
the  rest  of  that  fall  and  winter.  But  the  peo- 
ple along  the  route  became  anxious,  and  in 
April,  1879,  delegations  of  citizens  were  sent 
to  interview  the  railway  officials  at  St.  Paul, 
from  Garden  City,  Vernon  and  Shelby.  The 
delegates  from  Garden  City  were:  C.  B.  Frazer 
Eev.  J.  Eockwood,  Hon.  J.  G.  Thompson  and 
T.  B.  Church;  from  Vernon  Center,  P.  H. 
Tubbs,  T.  B.  Francis,  T.  S.  Hays,  A.  M.  Han- 
nay,  Peter  Mertesdorff  and  A.  C.  Wilber;  and 
from  Shelby,  Geo.  Quiggle,  Thos.  J.  Cross,  I. 
H.  Darling  and  John  C.  Noble.  Prompt  action 
on  the  matter  of  bonus  was  taken  and  on  April 
33  Garden  City  voted  $13,500,  by  a  majority  of 
fifty-five  in  a  vote  of  307,  Vernon  also  voted 
$10,000  by   a  vote  of  ninety-two  to  sixty-five. 


but  the  bonus  was  again  defeated  in  Shelby  by 
a  vote  of  130  to  53.  This  defeat  was  due  to 
the  same  cause  as  the  first.  The  road  however, 
was  built  during  the  summer  and  fall  of  this 
year  (1879)  and  completed  the  next  spring  to 
Elmore.  The  Commissioners  appointed  to  ap- 
praise the  damages  for  right  of  way  were  Clark 
Keysor,  Henry  Foster  and  James  Miller.  Early 
in  August,  1879,  Garden  City  was  reached  and 
the  depot  built.  The  railway  crossed  the  Blue 
Earth  river  about  a  mile  below  the  old  town- 
site  of  Vernon  and  two  new  towns  adjoining 
each  other  and  a  mUe  distant  from  the  old  town, 
and  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river,  were  laid 
out  in  the  fall  of  1879  on  the  farm  of  Elnathan 
Kendall.  One  was  platted  by  the  railway  com- 
pany in  October,  1879,  called  "East  Vernon  Cen- 
ter" and  the  other  platted  on  November  37th, 
1879,  by  Elnathan  Kendall,  under  the  name  of 
"Vernon  Center."  The  name  of  the  station  was 
changed  soon  thereafter  to  "Edgewood"  and 
again  later  to  "Vernon  Center."  For  two  or  three 
years  there  was  a  hot  rivalry  between  the  old 
and  new  town,  but  the  location  of  the  railroad 
had  made  the  doom  of  the  old  town  certain,  and 
it  only  lived  in  a  lingering  way  for  some  half 
a  dozen  years. 

The  railway  reached  this  place  and  built  its 
depot  there  about  the  middle  of  September,  1879. 
The  next  station  was  put  near  the  center  of 
Shelby  township  about  two  miles  north  of  the  vil- 
lage of  Shelbyville,  upon  land  which  the  railway 
company  had  bought  for  the  purpose  of  George 
Quiggle.  At  first  the  name  of  "Jackson  Lake" 
was  suggested,  but  when  the  plat  of  the  town- 
site  was  made  on  October  31,  1879,  it  bore  the 
name  of  "Amboy"  after  a  town  of  that  name 
in  Illinois,  from  which  its  first  postmaster  and 
storekeeper,  Eobert  Eichardson,  had  come.  As 
in  the  case  of  old  Vernon,  Shelbyville  was  thus 
dealt  its  mortal  blow  by  the  railway  for  which 
it  had  been  praying  so  long.  After  a  death  strug- 
gle of  two  or  three  years  it  passed  away  and 
the  place  of  this  once  thriving  village  now  knows 
it  no  more. 

In  the  fall  of  1878,  the  hog  cholera  made  its 
appearance  in  our  county,  and  later  did  great 
damage  to  the  pork  raising  industry. 

The  cultivation  of  Amber  cane  had  been  grow- 


k.    i 


188 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


iug  in  the  county  for  the  past  fifteen  years  and 
A¥as  now  becoming  an  important  industry.  Its 
production  continued  to  increase  until  the  early 
nineties;,  when  it  greatly  diminished.  Large 
cane  mills  were  operated  by  T.  E.  Beeves  and  P. 
Stency,  by  Zimmerman  and  Compton  and  by 
Allen  Moon,  all  of  LeEay;  by  H.  C.  Howai-d 
and  E.  P.  Evans  of  Garden  City,  by  Geo.-  Gilley 
in  Cambria,  by  A.  Anderson  in  Medo,  and  by 
many  others  over  the  county.  Some  mills  made 
fro3n  200  to  300  gallons  of  syrup  per  day.  The 
quality,  was,  also,  very  fine. 

In  Jamestown  the  Volk  Bros,  were  building 
up  a  large  manufacturing  plant.  They  first 
built  a  saw  mill,  stave  factory,  and  store  and  in 
1879  added  a  big  furniture  factory.  The  latter 
was   destroyed  by   fire   in   February,    1880. 

In  March,  1878,  the  Legislature  authorized 
the  issuing  of  bonds  for  the  building  of  an  iron 
bridge  over  the  Minnesota  river  at  Mankato. 
The  city  voted  $15,000.00  in  the  fall  of  that 
year  for  the  purpose,  the  county  gave  $10,000^ 
and  the  town  of  Belgrade  $3,500.00.  On  October 
2,  1879,  the  corner  stone  of  the  main  pier  was 
laid  and  the  big  bridge  completed  in  the  summer 
of  1880.  Thus  for  the  first  time  Blue  Earth  and 
Nicollet  Counties  were  united.  The  cost  of  the 
bridge  was  $28,400.00,  but  extras  connected  with 
the  approaches  and  gxading  brought  up  the  to- 
tal expense  to  about  $30,000.00.  Its  total  length 
is  810  feet. 

On  October  15,  1878,  was  held  at  Garden 
City  the  first  greenback  convention  in  our 
county.  Next  year  it  met  at  Good  Thunder  and 
there   were   thirty-eight    delegates    present. 

During  the  summer  of  1879  Warner  and  Foot 
of  Chicago  issued  the  first  map  of  Blue  Earth 
county,  showing  not  only  its  physical  and  po- 
litical features,  but  every  road,  farm  and  build- 
ing with  names  of  proprietors.  It  was  a  most 
excellent  map,  fairly  complete,  accurate,  and 
beautifully  printed,  and  is  still  much  in  use. 
On  May  13,  1879  J.  L.  Barlow,  who  was  con- 
nected with  so  many  newspaper  enterprises  in 
the  villages  of  our  county,  started  a  paper  at 
Mapleton,  called  the  "Mapleton  Messenger."  De- 
cember 4,  1879,  John  D.  Quane  started  a  paper 
at  Lake  Crystal,  which  he  designated  "The  Blue 
Earth  county  Public  Spirit."  In  November,  1879, 


Gen.  James  H.  Baker  purchased  the  "Mankato 
Union"  and  the  Mankato  Eecord,  and  consoli- 
dated them  into  a  new  paper,  which  he  called 
the  "Mankato  Free  Press,"  the  first  issue  of 
which  appeared  January,  1880. 

The  summer   and   fall   of   1879   was  very   dry 
and    prairie   fires   were    very    common    all    over 
the  county,  which  resulted  in  inuch  damage  to 
some  of  the  farmers.     The  years  of   1879   and 
].880  were  noted,  also,  in  our  history  for  their 
severe   storms   of   wind    and   hail.     On   July  3, 
1879,    such    a    storm    passed    through    Ceresco, 
Lincoln,    Garden    City,    Judson,    Eapidan,    Ver- 
non  Center,  Lyra,  Decoria  and  Medo.     In  one 
spot  of  Judson  this  storm  developed  into  a  small 
cyclone,  which  struck  the  residence  of  Henry  E. 
lioberts   and   completely   demolished   it.     Fortu- 
nately  Mr.   Eoberts   and   his  family   escaped  in- 
jury,   though    carried    with    the    debris    of   their 
home  for  some   distance   and  then  dropped  out- 
side in  the  yard.     The  next  day  another  storm 
of  like  character  swept  through  Pleasant  Mound 
and  Shelby.     It  unroofed  the  brick  residence  of 
Nathaniel  Stevens  and,  wrecking  a  part  of  the 
wall,  killed  Mrs.  Stevens.     These  storms  worked 
great    destruction    to    the    crops    all    over    the 
county.     A  partial  estimate  of  the  loss  by  towns 
was    as    follows:    Beauford    500    acres,    Ceresco, 
2,500   acres,   Decoria   1,300    acres.   Garden   City, 
1,000  acres,  Lincoln  200  acres,  Lyra  1,200  acres, 
McPherson,  2,000  acres,  Medo  2,500  acres,  Eapi- 
dan 500  acres,  Vernon  Center  1,500  acres,  total 
13,200  acres. 

In  1880  the  storms  came  about  a  month  ear- 
lier and  were  therefore  not  quite  so  destructive 
to  crops,  but  were  more  injurious  to  buildings 
than  the  storms  of  the  previous  year.  On  June 
3,  1880,  a  severe  storm  of  wind  and  hail  struck 
LeEay,  McPherson,  and  Medo.  Two  days  later 
(June  5th)  a  storm,  amounting  to  a  tornado, 
passed  over  Mankato,  unroofing  the  Normal 
school,  the  court  house,  the  Catholic  College, 
Norwegian  Church,  Christian  church.  Masonic 
Hall,  City  Hall  and  a  great  many  business  blocks 
and  private  residences.  It  also  blew  down  the 
cupola  of  the  Swedish  church,  and  demolished  ^  ^  ^ 
windows,  chimneys,  and  trees  without  number. 
Very  few  buildings  in  the  city  but  received  more 
or  less  damage.    The  storm,  also,  badly  damaged 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUE  EAETH  COUNTY. 


189 


a  brick  school  house  in  Lime  towB  and  did 
much  injury  in  the  country  northeast  of  Man- 
kato.  The  same  day  another  tornado  entered 
Pleasant  Mound  at  its  Southwest  corner  and 
thence  swept  eastward  through  this  town  and 
through  Shelby  demolishing  six  school  houses 
in  its  path  and  unroofing  and  otherwise  injur- 
ing many  private  houses.  A  man  named  Newell, 
a  widower,  living  at  Pleasant  Mound,  saw  the 
storm  coming,  and  got  into  the  house  before  the 
liurricane  struck  it.  Feeling  the  building  move 
with  the  wind,  he  grabbed  his  two  little  children 
in  his  arms  and  tried  to  open  the  east  door, 
the  opposite  side  from  the  storm,  but  the  suc- 
tion of  the  wind  was  too  great.  The  house  top- 
pled over  on  its  side,  then  rolled  upside  down. 
When  Mr.  Newell  recovered  consciousness,  he 
Tfas  lying  under  a  sulky  plow  in  the  yard,  with 
the  two  children  unhurt  still  in  his  arms,  but 
the  house  was  gone,  torn  in  pieces  by  the  wind. 
He  picked  himself  and  children  up  and  hastily 
sought  shelter  from  the  pelting  rain  and  hail  in 
n  sheep  pen  near  by.  H.  B.  Perrin  and  family 
then  resided  on  their  farm  in  Pleasant  Mound. 
When  the  storm  came  Mr.  Perrin  threw  him- 
self against  the  door  to  brace  it.  A  crash  up- 
stairs warned  him  the  windows  there  had 
blowed  in,  and  a  second  later  the  roof  went, 
and  then  the  siding  began  tearing  ofE  and  fly- 
ing away.  Hastily  leaving  the  fast  disintegrating 
house  Mr.  Perrin  and  wife  and  children  man- 
aged by  clinging  to  each  other  to  crawl  into  a 
root  house  close  at  hand. 

A  man  going  along  the  road  saw  the  storm 
coming  and  ran  for  shelter  to  the  Kenney  school 
house,  but,  being  Saturday,  found  the  door 
locked.  He  sought  shelter  in  one  of  the  outhous- 
es, but  that  soon  was  blown  over.  He  then  took 
refuge  on  the  leeward  side  of  the  school  house, 
but  this  building  began  to  topple.  There  was 
BOW  nothing  else  for  our  friend  to  do,  but  gird 
up  his  loins  and  run.  As  he  sped  with  the 
storm  he  glanced  back  over  his  shoulder  and 
saw  the  school  house  coming  after  him,  tum- 
bling before  the  wind.  Afterwards  he  used  to 
tell  with  great  glee  of  the  time  he  ran  across 
the  prairie  chased  by  a  school  house  and  two 
outhouses.  These  are  a  few  of  the  many  inci- 
dents serious   and  sometimes  humorous  of  these 


storms.  Among  the  school  houses  demolished 
vere  the  Perrin  new  frame  school  house,  the 
Willow  Creek,  Lattin, -and  Kennedy  brick  school 
houses  and  the  Brownly  log  school  house.  In 
Ceresco  the  McAllen,  Mead  and  Delvin  school 
houses  were  more  or  less  wrecked.  It  was  very 
fortunate  the  storm  occurred  on  Saturday,  when 
tliere  were  no  schools,  else  worse  tragedies  might 
have  happened. 

The  Kopieschke  residence,  in  Ceresco,  and  the 
frame  of  the  new  Presbyterian  church,  at  Amboy, 
were  torn  to  pieces  by  the  wind.  A  vast  num- 
ber of  houses  and  barns  were  injured  all  over 
the  southwest  part  of  the  county  and  the  dam-- 
ages    incurred  -  aggregated    over    $30,000.00. 

About  June,  1879,  the  people  of  Pleasant 
Mound  and  Shelby  organized  "The  Blue  Earth 
Valley  Stock  Association,''  which  at  first  was 
merely  intended  to  advertise  a  big  Norman  Per- 
cheron  horse  named  "Colossus"  and  his  progeny, 
but  the  event  soon  developed  into  a  regular  fair,  a 
strong  rival  of  the  County  Fair.  These  fairs 
were  generally  held  at  Wilder's  grove,  or  at 
tlie  farms  of  L.  H.  McKibben  or  J.  D.  Heritage. 

In  March,  1880,  the  first  telephone  in  the 
cow.nty  was  installed.  It  extended  between  the 
City  Hall  in  Mankato  and  the  Hubbard  mill 
and  the  Mankato  House. 

In  November,  1879,  the  Minnesota  Central 
Railway,  (usually  called  the  Mankato  and  Wells 
Eailroad)  was  sold  to  the  Chicago,  Milwaukee 
and  St.  Paul  railway  company,  who  assumed 
charge  in  January,  1880. 

During  March  and  April,  1880,  Red  Itildion 
Clubs  were  organized  at  Mapleton,  Good 
Thunder,  Winnebago  Agency,  and  Lake  Crystal 
by  Harry  Hall  of  Michigan,  which  did  consid- 
erable work  along  temperance  lines. 

About  May  1,  1880,  a  new  paper  was  started 
at  Mapleton  called  the  "Mapleton  Censor." 

The  milling  industry  of  our  county  continued 
active,  but  the  tendency  was  to  erect  mills  at 
railway  points,  and  mills  away  from  such  points 
were  on  the  decline.  In  July,  1880,  the  Hubbard 
Mill  put  in  the  roller  process.  In  the  fall  of 
the  same  year  ilr.  Gates  erected  a  new  mill  at 
Mapleton  village.  The  Cable  Mill  in  Lyra  was 
now  owned  by  Turner  and  Eedfearn.  The  Eap- 
idan    Mill,    the    Garden    City   Mill,    the    Butter- 


190 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EARTH  COUNTY. 


field  mill,  the  Eed  Jacket  Mill,  the  White  Star 
Mill,  Eagle  Lake  mill,  the  Farmers  Mill,  Win- 
nebago Agenej'  Mill,  Dyer  Mill,  Vernon  Mill, 
Sterling  mill  and  three  or  four  other  mills  were 
still  running.  All  these  were  flour  mills.  The 
saw  mills  of  the  county  at  this  period  must 
haye   numbered   about  twenty. 

On  September  3,  1880  The  Mankato  Free 
Press  appeared  for  the  first  time  under  the  edi- 
torship of  Woodward  and  Foss,  who  had  suc- 
ceeded Gen.  Baker  as  proprietors.  The  itinerary 
journalist,  J.  L.  Barlow,  moved  his  printing 
press  to  Winnebago  Agency  and  issued  a  few 
numbers  of  his  "Messenger"  there,  but  by  Jan- 
uary 6th,  1881,  he  was  over  at  Garden  City, 
issuing  it  as  the  "Garden  City-  Messenger." 
By  March  1,  1881,  the  "Mapleton  Censor"  had 
been  suspended. 

About  October  1,  1880,  Olaf  Olson  started 
a  new  store  at  what  is  now  Eapidan  station  in 
connection  with  the  post  office  and  his  wood 
business.  About  the  same  time  John  Hanson 
started  a  store  at  Little  Cobb  post  office  in 
Medo. 

On  December  4,  1880,  occurred  the  first  big 
business  failure  in  the  coimty,  that  of  Preal 
and  Du  Buisson  and  the  mill  company  of 
Eocky  and  Company.  The  liabilities  were  over 
$46,000.00  and  the  creditors  were  largely  Blue 
Earth  County  people,  who  could  ill  brook  their 
losses. 

On  December  31,  1880  the  old  Red  Jacket 
Mill  burned.  At  the  time  it  was  owned  by 
Hillyer  and  Bingham  of  Northfield,  Minn.,  and 
was  insured  for  $10,000.00.  It  had  been  one  of 
the  most  noted  mills  in  the  county,  but  because 
of  its  out  of  the  way  location  and  want  of  cap- 
ital it  was  never  rebuilt.  On  January  31,  1881, 
the  Mankato  Mutual  Building  and  Loan  Associa- 
tion was  organized  at  Mankato  by  a  number  of 
our  county  seat  business  men.  It  was  the  first 
organization  of  the  kind  in  the  county.  The 
institution  has  helped  build  over  1,300  resi- 
dences and  business  blocks  in  Mankato,  North 
Mankato  and  elsewhere  in  the  county. 

The  winter  of  1880-1  was  very  long,  cold  and 
snowy.  The  snow  came  about  November  2nd, 
and  did  not  leave  until  about  the  30th  of  April. 
The   freshet,   which   occurred   in   the    Minnesota 


about  the  last  week  in  April  was  the  biggest 
ever  known  in  that  river  since  the  advent  of  the 
white  settlers,  and  1881  has  ever  after  been 
known  as  the  year  of  "high  water." 

The  river  attained  to  the  height  of  twenty-four 
feet  above  low  water  mark,  while  in  1858  and 
1867,  when  it  had  risen  the  highest  before,  it 
was  only  twenty-two  feet.  On  May  3,  1881, 
the  sternwheel  steamer  "Mary  Barnes"  arrived 
at  Mankato  from  St.  Paul.  It  was  the  first  boat 
to  reach  our  county  for  four  or  five  years.  It 
was  in  charge  of  Captain  Newton.  In. the  spring 
of  1881  the  German  Catholic  Benefit  society 
was  organized  at  Mankato,  which  soon  had  over 
a  hundred  members.  This  society  prospered  and 
now    has    several   hundred   members. 

On  March  3,  1881,  a  number  of  Sterling  farm- 
ers organized  an  Alliance  in  the  school  house  in 
District  No.  102.  It  was  among  the  first  of 
that  kind  of  farmers  clubs  in  the  county.  About 
the  last  of  the  same  month  another  Alliance 
was  started  at  the  Eed  School  house  in  Beauford. 
Other  Alliances  were  formed  during  the  year  and 
the  order  began  to  take  an  active  part  in  politics 
s,nd  all  matters  looking  to  the  betterment  of  the 
agricultural    class. 

On  June  6,  1881,  the  farmers  of  McPherson, 
Medo,  Decoria^  and  Beauford  met  at  the  village 
of  Hilton  (Winnebago  Agency)  and  organized 
a.  Farmers  Mutual  Insurance  Company."  Its 
first  officers  were  President,  J.  L.  Cook,  Secy. 
Chas.  O'Connor,  Directors,  E.  B.  H.  Norton,  J. 
D.  Hawkins,  Chas.  O'Connor,  F.  W.  Lassow,  J. 
L.  Cook  and  John  Bestman.  Heretofore  fire  in- 
surance in  the  county  had  been  carried  by  big 
stock  companies  like  the  Fire  and  Marine  of 
St.  Paul,  the  Continental  of  Hartford,  Conn., 
and  similar  corporations,  and  the  insurance  man 
was  a  familiar  figure  on  our  country  roads.  But 
this  farmer's  mutual  insurance  was  the  fore- 
runner of  a  new  order  of  things.  In  a  few 
years  the  old  line  companies  had  been  supplant- 
ed by  local  mutual  insurance  companies. 

At  our  county  seat  during  1881,  the  Hubbard 
Mill  was  enlarged  and  improved  and  Grover 
C.  Burt  built  a  large  three  story  brick  addition 
to  the  Mankato  House. 

On    January    16,    1882,    the    Mankato    Opera 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EARTH  COUNTY. 


191 


House  burned,  but  within  a  year  was  again  re- 
built and  remodeled. 

At  a  special  session  of  the  Legislature  in  1881 
a  Municipal  Court  was  established  at  Mankato 
and  on  January  13,  1882,  0.  0.  Pitcher  was 
appointed  its  first  Judge  and  John  B.  Hodapp 
was   its   first    Eecorder. 

In  February  Andrew  Friend  bought  the  Wil- 
lard  or  Capwell  Mill,  enlarged  it  to  a  100  barrel 
capacity  and  installed  in  it  the  roller  process. 

The  Alliance  movement  had  been  growing  rap- 
idly in  the  county  during  the  past  few  months, 
and  in  March,  1882,  nine  Alliances,  met  at  Good 
Thunder  and  formed  an  Union  under  the  name 
of  the  "Blue  Earth  County  Alliance."  These 
nine  were:  Mapleton,  Sterling  ISTo.  20.  Sterling 
No.  65,  Beauford,  Mankato  Township,  Decoria, 
Amboy,  No.  68,  Amboy  No.  60,  and  Good  Thun- 
der. The  officers  chosen  were :  Lvsander  Cook, 
President;  Peter  McGrath,  J.  B.  Emmerson, 
Joseph  May,  D.  W.  Evans,  Joseph  Bookwalter 
and  Adam  Arnold,  Vice-Presidents,  Capt.  Geo. 
W.  Haigh,  Secretary;  and  J.  S.  Englerth, 
Treasurer.  Another  meeting  was  held  at  Good 
Thunder  on  June   3,   1882,   when   the  following 


ten  Alliances  were  represented  by  the  persons 
named : 

Good  Thunder,  L.  Cook,  P.  McGrath  and  G. 
Webster. 

Mapleton,  W.  G.  Dailey  and  T.  D.  Dailey. 

Beauford,  F.  Childs,  and  L.  F.   Findley. 

Decoria,  F.  M.  Currier  and, Geo.  Todd. 

Sterling,  No.  20,  M.  M.  Pratt  and  James  Ellis. 

Sterling,  No.  65,  W.  A.  Grover,  W.  S.  Al- 
drich  and  W.  J.  Mountain. 

Garden  City,  L.  Cook,  L.  S.  Terrj'  and  J.  G. 
Thompson. 

LeEay,  Ira  B.  Eeynolds. 

Judson,  Eich.  Wigley  and  John  Edwards. 

Mankato,  Geo.  W.  Haigh,  Jno.  Diamond  and 
J.    S.    Englerth. 

Among  the  foregoing  were  several  names  who 
^veve  destined  to  play  a  prominent  part  in  the 
advancement  of  the  Alliance  cause  in  our  own 
county  and  the  state. 

On  July  4,  1882,  the  County  Alliance  held  a 
big  celebration  at  Good  Thunder,  at  which  Hon. 
S.  P.  Sprague,  State  Lecturer  for  the  order, 
and  Seth  Bottomly  of  Fairmont  were  the  lead- 
ing speakers. 


CHAPTER  XX. 

HISTOEY     OF     MINNESOTA     VALLEY- 
EVENTS  OF  1884-6— BUILDING  OF 
THE  COUET  HOUSE. 


With  the  year  1882  we  note  the  advent  of  the     of   Amboy    and    Lake    Crystal    were   put    among 
first    creameries    into    the    county,    an    industry     money  order  offices,     October  11,  1882,  occurred 


which  in  the  near  future  was  to  convert  our 
county  from  wheat  raising  to  stock  raising  and 
butter  making.  C.  G.  Spaulding  at  Mapleton, 
J.  H.  Long  and  W.  T.  Mills  at  Mankato,  H.  C. 
Howard,  and  Marston  Larson  and  Davis  of  Lake 
Crystal  and  S.  H.  Grannis  were  among  the  pio- 
neers of  this  new  enterprise  in  our  county. 


the  first  issue  of  "The  Lake  Ci7stal  Union'- 
by  Geo.  W.  Neff,  who  has  edited  and  published 
the  paper  ever  since.  Mr.  Neff  had  formerly 
published  {he  "Mankato  Union"  and  was  an  ex- 
perienced newspaper  man. 

About    September    5,     1883,    Mr.     Woodward 
sold    the   "Mankato    Free   Press"   to   Lemuel   P. 


In  June,  1882,  "The  History  of  the  Minnesota  Hunt,  a  young  man  of  good  abiUty  and  great 
Valley"  was  published.  The  book  contains  a  energy.  Without  much  personal  magnetism  or 
fairly  good  history  of  our  county  among  a  popularity  and  with  but  little  capital  at  the 
number  of  others.  On  July  23,  1882,  the  25th  start,  Mr.  Hunt  has  managed  by  push,  enter- 
anniversary  of  the  organization  of  the  Sterling  prise  and  good  judgment  to  build  up  one  of  the 
Congregational  chuch  was  observed.  Eev.  J.  E.  best  publishing  plants  in  the  state  and  his  paper 
Conrad  being  the  principal  speaker.  was  always  newsy  and  readable  and  enjoyed  as 

On  July  15th,  1882,  the  "Blue  Earth  County  large    a    circulation    as    any    paper    in    Southern 

Anti    Horse    Thief    Association"    met    at    Lake  Minnesota. 

Crystal,  with  one  or  more  delegates  from  every  In  August,  1882,  the  present  brick  poor  house 

town.     G.   W.   Monks  was  president,   and   J.    C.  was    completed    on    the   county    farm    at    a    cost 

Currier,   secretary.  of  $5,000.00. 

June  28,   1882   a  militia  company   designated  During -this  year  there  was  much  talk   about 

"Company    F,    Second    Eegiment,"    was    formed  tlie   "Mankato,   Austin   and   St.    Cloud   Eailway" 

at  Mankato  with  Geo.  W.  Mead  as  captain,  S.  W.  and   the   "Cannon   Valley   Eailway."    McPherson 

Burgess,    1st    Lieutenant,    F.    W.    Walker,    2nd  voted  $10,000.00  bonus  to  the  former  and  other 

Lieutenant.      This    organization    existed    for    a  towns    along   the    proposed    route   voted    similar 

number  of  years,  though   the  personnel  of  both  amounts, 

officers   and   men   changed   many  times.    At   the  Prior  to   1882   Geo.   A.    Clarke  had   started   a 


second    election    of    officers    March     13,     1883, 
S-    W.    Burgess    became    Captain,    H.    C.    Acres 
1st  Lieutenant   and    D.    F.    McGraw    2nd   Lieu- 
tenant. 
In    the    spring    of    1882    Corliss    and    Brown 


summer  resort  at  Madison  Lake,  and  had  done 
much,  to  create  an  interest  in  this  charming  spot, 
hidden  in  the  depth  of  the  forest.  During  this 
summer  J.  M.  Barclay  who  owned  a  tract  of 
land  known  as  Point  Pleasant  on  a  fine  promon- 


started  a  bank   at  the  village  of  Mapleton.   On  tory  of  the  lake,  built  thereon  a  two  story  frame 

July  21,  1882,  a  new  postoffice  was  started  call-  liotel,  which  soon  became  very  popular  as  a  sum- 

ed    "Beauford,"    with    L.    F.    Finley,    who    kept  mer  retreat. 

«   small   store   at   Beauford    Center,    as   its   first         During  1882,  Lake  Crystal  built  a  two  story 

Postmaster,     On  August  7,  1882,  the  post  offices  brick  school  building  at  a  cost  of  $8,000. 

"  193 


lui  kbk 


194 


HISTORY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COTJNTy. 


On  October  27,  1882,  Wm.  C.  Durkee,  who 
had  served  the  county  since  1869  as  Clerk  of  its 
District  Court,  died,  and  Wm.  B.  Torrey  wag 
appointed  to  fill  the  vacancy. 

On  February  14,  15,  and  16,  1883,  "The 
Korthwestern  Dairymen's  Convention"  was  held 
at  Mankato  and  gave  much  inspiration  to  the 
new  dairy  interests  of  our  county.  One  feature 
of  the  decorations  of  the  occasion  was  an  ice 
palace  surmounted  by  an  effigy  of  a  calf,  erect- 
ed in  the  street  in  front  of  the  City  Hall, 
where  the  meetings  were  held.  Soon  after  this 
meeting  the  Lake  Crystal  creamery  was  sold  to 
Lawrence  Straight  and  Co.,  and  a  little  later 
1hov,  also,  bought  the  Mankato  cret- 
in March,  1883  Joseph  Bookwalter,  of  Vernon 
Center  was  appointed  collecter  of  customs  at 
St.  Vincent. 

For  a  number  of  years  John  E.  Beatty  of 
Mankato  had  made  a  special  study  of  the  lime- 
stone ledges  in  and  about  Mankato,  and,  after 
numerous  experiments,  had  discovered  along  the 
banks  of  the  Blue  Earth  in  West  Mankato  a 
quantity  of  good  cement  rock.  In  1882  he  in- 
terested J.  S.  Parsons  of  Hartford  Conn.,  and 
U..  Cummings  of  Buffalo,  IST.  Y.  in  the  find; 
and  on  April  24,  1883,  they  purchased  a  tract 
of  several  acres,  containing  the  cement  ledge,  of 
Stephen  Lamm,  Noah  Armstrong  and  Daniel 
Buck.  Extensive  and  very  substantial  build- 
ings were  constructed  during  the  summer  and 
the  plant  began  operations  in  the  fall.  For 
a  number  of  years  large  quantities  of  cement 
v/ere  manufactured  by  the  "Mankato  Standard 
Cement   Company." 

Another  industry,  which  was  started  this 
same  spring  of  1883,  adjacent  to  the  cement 
works,  was  the  manufacture  of  drain  tile  and 
firebrick  by  S.  F.  Alberger.  The  clay  for  the 
purpose  was  mostly  obtained  from  the  Le  Sueur, 
and  was  of  excellent  quality.  This  work  pros- 
pered for  a  time,  but  the  want  of  capital,  the 
discrimination  in  railway  rates,  and  a  better  of- 
fer at  the  Twin  Cities,  finally  induced  Mr.  Al- 
berger in  three  or  four  years  to  abandon  his 
plant. 

The  same  spring  (1883)  witnessed  the  erec- 
tion at  Mankato  by  0.  C.  McCurdy,  John  Van 
Liew  and  L.  Patterson,  of  Van  Wert,  Ohio,  of 


the  Mankato  gas  works,  the  first  in  the  county. 

About  July  11th,  1883,  a  telephone  plant 
was  installed  at  Mankato  with  sixty-three  sub- 
scribers, mainly  through  the  efforts  of  A.  B. 
Smith.  It  was  the  first  effort  to  give  the  people 
of  our  county  the  services  of  this  modern  con- 
venience. 

In  the  fall  of  1883  Frank  Lewis  of  Worth- 
ington  purchased  the  machinery  of  the  "White 
Star"  flour  mill  from  the  heirs  of  Capt.  Dicker- 
son  and  moved  same  to  Lake  Crystal;  where  he 
formed  a  copartnership  with  Marston,  Cry  and 
Davis  in  its  operation. 

In  September,  1883,  Smith's  mill  was  made  a 
regular  station  on  the  ISTorthwestem  railroad 
and  a  depot  was  erected.  There  was  a  mill  and 
three  general  stores  already  located  at  this 
place. 

In  the  summer  of  1883,  John  D.  Quane 
moved  his  paper,  "The  Public  Spirit"  from  Lake 
Crystal  to  Mankato  and  changed  it  to  a  daily 
paper.  It  was  the  first  attempt  at  publishing  a 
daily  in  our  county  but  for  some  reason  or  other 
it  was  not  a  success  and  its  publication  sus- 
pended in  December. 

February  12  to  15,  1885  the  'TSTorthwestem 
Dairymen's  Association"  met  again  at  Mankato 
and  the  dairy  interests  of  the  county  were  given 
another  big  impetus.  An  important  change 
was  now  taking  place  in  our  county  along  agri- 
cultural lines.  The  farmers  were  turning  from 
wheat  raising  to  stock  raising  and  the  production 
of  butter ;  and  these  big  conventions  helped  mater- 
ially in  the  transition.  Public  sentiment  was  mold- 
ed by  them  and  the  people  educated  and  enthused 
along  these  lines.  Early  in  March,  1884,  the 
merchants  of  Lake  Crystal  formed  a  "Dairy 
Board  of  Trade,"  which  sent  men  out  through  the 
country  regularly  to  gather  the  butter  fresh  from 
the  churn  and  have  it  all  worked  over  at  Lake 
Crystal  by  experienced  butter  makers. 

In  April,  1884,  a  dairymen's  convention  was 
held  at  Mapleton  which  gave  the  farmers  in  that 
vicinity  an  opportunity  to  meet  and  discuss 
ways  and  means.  About  the  same  time,  through 
the  efforts  of  M.  G.  Willard,  then  secretary* 
of  the  Mankato  Board  of  Trade,  a  "Dairy  Pro- 
duce and  "Exchange"  was  organized  at  Man- 
katoj  embracing  a  number  of  counties  in  South- 


HISTOEY  OF  BLUB  EAETH  COUNTY. 


195 


western  Minnesota,  the  main  purpose  of  which 
was  to  arrange  sale  or  market  days  for  butter, 
so  as  to  bring  the  producers  into  touch  with 
the  butter  dealers  of  New  York  City  and  else- 
where. The  first  sale  days  were  held  at  Mankato 
during  this  month  of  April,  and  a  number  of 
buyers  and  sellers  were  present. 

The  growth  of  the  dairy  interest  called  forth 
new  enterprises.  W.  W.  Woodward  and  Chas. 
M.  Marsh  formed  a  copartnership  for  the  man- 
ufacture of  butter  tubs  at  Mankato  and  dur- 
ing the  summer  erected  a  large  factory  for  the 
purpose.  In  June,  1884,  the  English  speaking 
Catholics  of  Mankato  and  vicinity  separated 
themsehes  from  the  German  Catholic  Church 
and  Father  John  Prior  became  their  pastor. 

In  Vernon  Center  the  fight  between  old  Ver- 
non and  "Edgewood"  was  still  raging,  but  the 
latter  place  was  steadily  gaining  ground  over  its 
rival.  In  July,  1883,  it  obtained  a  postofEice 
with  E.  W.  Washburn  as  postmaster,  and  in 
1884  it  won  the  new  school  house. 

Amboy  by  this  time  was  getting  to  be  quite 
a  village  with  several  stores,  hotels,  and  churches. 
In  January,  1885,  it  even  supported  a  newspaper 
called  the  "Amboy  News." 

During  the  years  1882  to  about  1886,  the 
young  people  of  Sterling  and  vicinity  were  very 
active   in    literary    and    lyceum    work. 

At  Mapleton,  James  Brown,  the  merchant 
and  banlcer,  had  become,  also,  an  editor,  pub- 
lishing a  small  monthly  paper  called  the  "Ma- 
pleton Enterprise"  in  connection  with  the  store 
of  Brown,  Wishart  &  Orr  as  early  as  the  first 
of  August,  1884.  This  paper  continued  for  a 
year  and  had  a  circulation  of  800. 

On  January  13,  1885,  Hon.  Schyler  Colfax, 
Ez-vice  president  of  the  United  States,  died  sud- 
denly at  the  depot  of  the  St.  Paul  and  Omaha 
railway  in  Mankato,  while  waiting  between 
trains.  At  the  New  Orleans  Mid  Winter  Expo- 
sition in  January,  1885,  an  exhibit  of  the  stone 
and  some  other  products  of  our  county  was 
made,  with  James   Shoemaker  in  charge. 

The  Cannon  Valley  Eailroad  (now  called  the 
Chicago  and  Great  Western)  was  then  ap- 
proaching Mankato  from  Eed  Wing  and  Fari- 
bault and  had  reached  Jamestown.  A  new  town- 
site  was  started  there  on  January  17,  1885,  on 


the  line  of  this  railway  called  "Madison  Lake," 
after  the  lake  of  that  name  on  which  it  is  situ- 
ated. The  proprietors  were:  Chas.  F.  Hatch  as 
trustee,  Luther  Z.  Sogers  and  Lewis  Fitcher.  At 
Mankato  the  German  Lutheran  parochial  school 
which  had  heretofore  been  taught  by  the  pas- 
tor, was  put  in  charge  of  a  regular  teacher. 
Prof.  H.  I.  F.  Brockmeyer,  in  April,  1885. 

During  the  summer  a  three  story  brick  block 
was  erected  by  Patterson,  Halfhill  and  Zimmer- 
man for  their  new  wholesale  grocery  business. 
These  men,  who  proved  to  be  a  valuable  acquisi- 
tion to  the  mercantile  interests  of  the  county, 
came  from  Van  Wert,  Ohio. 

The  coming  into  power  of  a  Democratic  ad- 
ministration at  the  National  Capitol  wrought 
many  changes  this  year  in  the  political  circle 
by  the  Blue  Earth.  The  U.  S.  Land  office  there 
at  Tracy  was  put  in  charge  of  P.  K.  Wiser  as 
receiver  and  George  W.  Warner  as  Eegister. 
About  all  the  postmasters  in  the  county,  were, 
also,  changed. 

A  big  fourth  of  July  celebration  was  held  this 
year  (1885)  at  Pleasant  Mound,  at  which  Seth 
Bottomley  was  orator.  August  11,  1885,  oc- 
curred the  first  issue  of  the  "Mankato  State 
Eegister,"  published  by  Carl  Eastwood.  About 
the  same  date  the  "Third  District  Messenger," 
a  prohibition  paper  was  started  at  Mankato  by 
H.  C.  Hotaling.  There  were  now  six  English 
and  one  German  papers  printed  at  the  county 
seat.  '    1 

During  August  and  September,  1885,  Far- 
mers' State  Institutes  were  conducted  at  Gar- 
den City  and  other  points  in  the  county  by 
J.    T.   McCleary   and   Miss   Sprague. 

About  September  1,  1885,  James  B.  Swan 
sold  his  interest  in  the  Eapidan  Mill  company 
to  S.  H.  Baker  of  St.  Peter  for  $7,700.  Sep- 
tember 8,  1885,  occurred  at  Mankato  the  second 
annual  fair  of  the  "Southern  Minnesota  Live 
Stock  and  Fair  association.  September  30,  1885, 
the  "Blue  Earth  Valley  Fair  Association"  held 
its  eighth  exhibition  on  the  farm  of  L.  F,  Mc- 
Kibbin.  Senator  M.  C.  Wilkinson,  Gen.  Geo. 
Becker  and  Gen.  James  H.  Baker,  the  two  lat- 
ter being  at  the  time  on  the  State  Eailway 
Commission  delivered  addresses  to  over  2500 
people.      Other    events    of    1885,    wer^    a    new 


196 


HISTORY  OP  BLUE  EARTH  COUNTY. 


brick  school  house  at  Amboy;  a  new  post  office 
established  at  Madison  Lake  in  October,  with 
Geo.  W.  Allyn  as  postmaster;  the  beginning  of 
the  erection  of  a  big  fiberware  plant  at  Man- 
kato  by  M.  G.  and  John  A.  Willard,  which 
was  later  transformed  into  a  part  of  the  present 
Knitting  Mills;  the  dedication  on  October  18, 
1885,  at  the  town  of  Danville  of  the  new  Ger- 
man Lutheran  church,  and  the  formation  over 
"lie  county  of  many  temperance  clubs,  such  as: 
Good  Templar  lodges.  Sons  of  Temperance, 
Prohibition  clubs,  Wide  Awakes  and  W.  C. 
T.  U. 

During  the  winter  of  1885-6  tobogganing 
was  the  craze  in  Blue  Earth  County  and  all 
over  the  Northwest  and  on  January  26,  1886, 
the   St.   Paul   clubs   visited   the   Mankato   clubs. 

The  matter  of  changing  the  name  of  Winne- 
bago Agency  post  office  agitated  its  patrons  for 
a  few  weeks  during  this  winter.  At  a  meet- 
ing held  February  6,  1886  the  name  Hilton 
was  chosen  by  a  close  vote,  in  honor  of  the 
proprietor  of  the  main  townsite,  but  at  another 
meeting  held  about  March  33,  the  name  St. 
Clair-  was  adopted  on  the  suggestion  of  Chas. 
O'Connor. 

During  this  same  month  (March,  1886,)  the 
Mankato  band  led  by  Prof.  Jache  assisted  by 
Henry  Wilcox  was  mustered  in  as  a  military 
band  for  the  Second  Regiment  Minnesota  mili- 
tia. 

On  the  30th  of  the  same  month  a  number  of 
the  farmers  of  Shelby,  Pleasant  Mound,  Yer- 
non  and  Sterling  combined  to  build  a  Grain 
ware  house  at  Amhoy.  Their  corporate  name 
was  "The  Amboy  Farmers  Co-operative  Associ- 
ation" and  one  hundred  shares  of  stock  were 
issued  at  $15  each. 

On  the  27th  of  the  same  month  the  working 
men  of  Mankato  affected  their  first  organization, 
at  the  instigation  of  one  C.  A.  Lincoln  of  Ohio. 

Tn  April.  1886,  W.  R.  Geddes  succeeded.  Mr. 
Eastwood  as  half  owner  of  the  "State  Eedster'-' 
and  in  March,  1887,  Mr.  Geddes  purchased  the 
other  half  interest  of  W.  W.  Woodward,  and 
became  the  sole  proprietor  of  this  stronsr  rival 
of  the   "Free   Press"  in   the  journalistic  field. 

In  November,  1885.  Wm.  M.  Farr  and  John 
C.   Noe,   two  prominent  business   men   of  Man- 


kato, applied  and  received  a  franchise  for  a 
street  railroad  in  that  city.  Early  in  the  spring 
they  began  the  construction  of  the  road  along 
Front  Street,  and  on  June  22,  1886,  a  corpora- 
tion was  formed  with  a  capital  of  $50,000  by 
W.  M.  Farr,  John  C.  Noe,  J.  A.  Willard,  Ste- 
phen Lamm,  Geo.  P.  Piper,  Geo.  H.  Clark  and 
J.  E.  Jones.  The  railway  was  completed  and 
opened  for  travel  on  July  23,  1886,  and  966 
passengers  were  carried  on  the  first  day,  1033 
on  the  second,  and  1455  on  the  third  day.  Had 
this  patronage  continued  this  first  venture  in 
a  street  railway  in  our  county  might  have  been 
a  paying  enterprise.  The  cars  were  operated 
by  horses.  Extensions  were  made  from  the 
main  line  on  Front  street  first  to  the  C.  St. 
P.  M.  &  0.  Ry.  depot,  then  up  Center  and 
Byron  Street  in  the  summer  of  1887,  and  after 
two  or  three  years  the  latter  extension  was  taken 
up  and  used  in  an  extension  to  Sibley  Park  and 
the  Blue  Earth  River  bridge.  Mankato  at  that 
time  proved  too  small  a  town  for  a  street  rail- 
way, and  the  patronage  failed  to  pay  the  operat- 
ing expense.  So  after  giving  the  enterprise  a 
full  test  and  finding  their  deficit  growing  big- 
ger each  year,  the  company  finally,  in  October, 
1895,  surrendered  their  franchise,  pulled  up 
their  tracks   and  abandoned  the  project. 

On  June  18,  1886,  a  number  of  the  pubhn 
schools